Jason Richardson

Eastern Rumors: Sixers, Grant, Oladipo

The Sixers reached out to retired shooting guard Jason Richardson prior to their signing of big man Elton Brand, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The Hawks waived Richardson, who played 19 games with the Sixers last season, in late September after signing him to a non-guaranteed, one-year deal the previous month. But Brand was the team’s top target to fill its leadership void, a move that was orchestrated by new chairman of basketball operations Jerry Colangelo, Pompey adds.

In other news around the Eastern Conference:

  • Knicks coach Derek Fisher hasn’t lost faith in point guard Jerian Grant, despite the rookie’s decline in playing time, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. Grant received a three-game benching last month and played sparingly in others until his 24-minute outing against the Hawks on Sunday, his longest appearance since November 15th. “There’s a lot of good things about him,” Fisher told the team’s beat writers. “That’s why he’s here, and we believe in him. …We still believe in who he is. We’re still invested in him. We like his future.”
  • Victor Oladipo returned to the starting lineup against the Pistons on Monday, a change that would have happened even if point guard Elfrid Payton didn’t sit out with an ankle injury, Magic coach Scott Skiles told the assembled media, including Hoops Rumors. The team had shown serious defensive slippage, Skiles indicated, “so it makes sense to put my best defensive player back out there. [Offensively] it’s a tough balance for a player as talented as him — whether to dribble, drive, do things like that, or if the ball movement is more important for our team. You play better when the ball is moving around, so they’re not easy decisions. But we need him to be aggressive.”
  • Stanley Johnson needs to improve his shooting but that won’t lead to a reduction in minutes, Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said during a Monday press conference that included Hoops Rumors. The rookie small forward has been a fixture in Van Gundy’s rotation since opening night, averaging 21.2 minutes, despite shooting 37.8% from the field. “I’d certainly like to see him shoot the ball better,” Van Gundy said. “I know he’d like to shoot the ball better but it’s not something I worry a whole lot about.”

Hawks Waive Jason Richardson

The Hawks have waived the retiring Jason Richardson, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). The move took place Friday, according to Pincus, though the team made no formal announcement. Atlanta signed the 34-year-old swingman last month, so even though he walked away before the start of training camp, the release still had to take place. He was on a one-year contract for the minimum salary without any guaranteed money, so the Hawks aren’t on the hook for any money.

Richardson said in December that “retirement is three or four years away from now,” but knee trouble and an aversion to making simply a token appearance on a roster evidently led to a change of heart. The fifth overall pick in the 2001 draft was much more than roster filler for much of his career, but that wasn’t the case for the majority of his tenure with the Sixers, who acquired him in 2012 as part of the Dwight Howard trade. He made his return to the court last season after missing more than two years because of injuries and appeared in 19 games, averaging career lows in points and minutes per game as well as field goal percentage.

It was in stark contrast to the high-flying scoring force he was for much of his career. Richardson topped 20 points per game three times, including his best scoring average of 23.2 PPG in 2005/06 with the Warriors, his original team. He went on to play with the Bobcats, Suns and Magic before finishing up in Philadelphia. Thanks to the more than $6.6MM he made this past season, the Jim Tanner client topped $100MM in career earnings across his 14 seasons in the league, totaling about $105.356MM, according to Basketball-Reference. His Hawks salary would have been the lowest of his career.

What stands out to you about Richardson’s career? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Hawks Officially Sign Three For Camp

The Hawks have officially signed Earl Barron, DeQuan Jones and Edgar Sosa, the team announced via a press release. All three moves were expected, and though only Sosa’s pact was reported to be non-guaranteed, neither Jones’ or Barron‘s deals are likely to include any guaranteed salary, though that is merely my speculation. Atlanta now has the preseason maximum of 19 players on its roster. This number doesn’t include swingman Jason Richardson, who announced his retirement on Thursday.

The 34-year-old Barron hadn’t drawn much interest in free agency this summer, as our rumors page for him indicates, but he’s shown a knack for making his way onto NBA rosters despite limited playing time. Last season’s 16 games with the Suns were the most Barron had played in an NBA season since 2010/11, when he totaled 21 appearances split among three teams. The center’s best season was 2007/08, when he appeared in 46 contests, and 15 of them as a member of the starting lineup, for the Heat.

Jones, 25, went undrafted out of Miami back in 2012. He then secured a training camp invite from the Magic which he parlayed into a regular season roster spot for the 2012/13 campaign. Jones made 63 appearances for Orlando that season, including 17 starts, and averaged 3.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 0.3 assists to go along with a slash line of .436/.257/.667. The forward spent the 2014/15 season with Pallacanestro Cantù of the Lega Basket Serie A.

Sosa, 27, went undrafted out of Louisville back in 2010 after posting career NCAA numbers of 9.7 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. He joined the Pistons summer league entry that season, but he ended up signing overseas with the Italian club Angelico Biella. The point guard spent the 2014/15 campaign playing for Dinamo Sassari in Italy. Sosa’s numbers last season were 10.7 PPG, 1.5 RPG, and 3.5 APG to accompany a slash line of .387/.320/.789.

Southeast Notes: Richardson, Heat, Napier

It was concerns regarding his long-term health that led Jason Richardson to call it a career and retire, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports writes. “I didn’t want to limp the rest of my life,” Richardson told Spears. “I still have my whole life in front of me, God willing. I sat alone at a park in Atlanta thinking and no one said anything to me because they didn’t recognize me since I just got there. I talked to my wife for an hour on the phone and then I sat for five hours thinking while listening to music before deciding that retiring was the right thing to do.” The 34-year-old had signed a one-year, non-guaranteed deal with the Hawks for the league minimum back in August. “I worked hard and had love and passion for the game,” Richardson added. “But I didn’t want to be that guy who was just there collecting a paycheck.”

Here’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is excited about the team’s offseason additions of Amar’e Stoudemire and Gerald Green, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald relays. “If you had told me a year ago we would have an opportunity to sign both those players, I would have said that’s not realistic,” Spoelstra said. “We recruited Amar’e in 2010 and were fans of his game back then. His game has evolved and he has found a niche and a role the last couple of years we definitely can take advantage of. Gerald Green is an explosive player. Those type of game changing players are tough to find in this league. He has been very committed to get to know us and also be in a great shape. To be part of a championship culture and a team with high expectations. I told him you put on this jersey, there are different expectations. He loves the challenge of that.”
  • Point guard Shabazz Napier, whom the Magic acquired from Miami back in July, is expected to be the team’s third point guard behind Elfrid Payton and C.J. Watson, but the hope is that he can be developed into a future asset, Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel writes.
  • The Magic are pleased with the progress they have seen from Payton, who is entering his second season in the league, Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel relays. When asked about the young guard’s outside shooting, coach Scott Skiles said, “It’s better. He’s put in a lot of time. He’s dedicated himself to it. Obviously, it doesn’t stop just because the season starts. Elfrid’s a talented guy. He’s still a young player. It’s a tough position to learn. Generally, guys aren’t totally polished at that in their second year in the NBA. But as I said before, ‘progress, not perfection.’ We just want him to continue to make progress, and we’re really high on him.

Jason Richardson To Retire

10:26pm: Richardson had experienced pain in his right knee four to five days ago and then had an MRI that revealed bone spurs, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports reports (Twitter links). The guard made his decision on Tuesday after deliberating for six hours, and he informed Hawks coach/executive Mike Budenholzer earlier today of his choice, Spears adds. Richardson, who already has issues with his left knee, feared that his ability to walk would be impaired for the rest of his life, which played a major factor in his decision, Spears tweets.

8:41pm: Veteran NBA shooting guard Jason Richardson has decided to call it a career, and has announced his retirement via his personal Instagram account. In his announcement, Richardson writes, “Today is a bitter sweet moment for me. I’m officially announcing my retirement from pro basketball. I like to thank the organizations and fans in Charlotte, Phoenix, Orlando, Philly and especially The Bay Area for their loyal support the past 14 years. Walking away was the hardest decision I had to make but choosing my health and spending time with my family is more important to me! God bless!” There has been no statement released by the Hawks as of yet regarding Richardson’s retirement.

The 34-year-old had signed a one-year, non-guaranteed deal with the Hawks for the league minimum back in August. While Richardson was once one of the more dynamic scorers in the league, various injuries derailed his career the past few seasons, limiting him to appearing in an average of just 26.5 games per year since the 2011/12 season. His retirement reduces Atlanta’s preseason roster count to 18 players.

Richardson had appeared in 19 contests for the Sixers last season, averaging 9.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 21.9 minutes per games. He also played for Warriors, Hornets, Suns, and Magic during the course of his career. Richardson’s career numbers through 13 NBA campaigns are 17.1 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 2.7 RPG to go along with a slash line of .438/.370/.707.

And-Ones: Morris, Richardson, Draft

Darius Morris, who was waived by the Nets at the end of June, has received contract offers from NBA teams and clubs overseas, but thanks to a foot injury suffered during training, he’ll be out of action for a few months, Morris’ agent, Brian Dyke, told international journalist David Pick (Twitter link). The 24-year-old made 38 appearances for Brooklyn during the 2014/15 campaign, logging averages of 2.2 points, 0.7 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 7.9 minutes per contest.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders tabs new L.A. arrivals Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson as two of six players who appear likely to benefit from having changed teams this summer.
  • Jason Richardson‘s deal with the Hawks is a one-year minimum-salary arrangement and is without any guaranteed money, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). It has limited injury protection, Pincus also says, so it appears to be an Exhibit 9 contract. Richardson will see $1,499,187 if he sticks for the entire season, but since the deal only covers one season, it would cost the Hawks no more than $947,276, the equivalent of the two-year veteran’s minimum. The league picks up the rest of the tab.
  • Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress peered into his crystal ball and released his first mock draft for 2017’s big event. The current top three players on Givony’s draft board are forwards Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum, with point guard Dennis Smith rounding out the top-ranked trio.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: Valanciunas, Embiid, Richardson

The Raptors and Jonas Valanciunas are reportedly working toward a four-year contract extension that would be worth more than $60MM, and the two sides could finalize the deal as early as this week. While inking the young big man  to such a lucrative pact may be a big risk for a player with career averages of 10.9 points and 8.0 rebounds, TSN.ca’s Josh Lewenberg notes that Valanciunas is just 23 years old, and the Raptors still believe in him and his potential (Twitter links). Lewenberg also adds that the center needs to improve his passing, mobility, and perimeter defense to justify receiving that vote of confidence from the organization, but with the salary cap expected to increase markedly next season, Valanciunas wouldn’t have much difficulty securing that size of an offer in the free agent marketplace from another team.

Here’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • While some may have doubts that Valanciunas is worth an annual salary in the $15MM range, Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca believes signing the big man to a four-year, $60MM extension would be a steal for the Raptors organization. Grange cites Valancinuas’ improved numbers last season, as well as durability, with the center having missed just seven contests in three NBA seasons, as reasons why Toronto is making a wise move in extending the player.
  • Sixers center Joel Embiid underwent successful surgery today on his right foot, Mike Sielski of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports (Twitter link). Embiid is expected to miss the entire 2015/16 campaign, his second straight after being selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
  • Jason Richardson took to his personal Twitter account to thank the Sixers for their support of him the last three seasons. The 34-year-old only appeared in a total of 52 contests during his tenure in Philadelphia, and the unrestricted free agent has inked a non-guaranteed pact with the Hawks for the 2015/16 campaign.

Hawks Sign Jason Richardson

AUGUST 18TH, 7:10pm: The signing is official, the Hawks announced via a press release.

AUGUST 15TH, 4:42pm: The Hawks have agreed to a deal with unrestricted free agent Jason Richardson, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). The veteran guard’s deal will be non-guaranteed, Spears adds.

Richardson, 34, appeared in 19 contests for the Sixers last season, averaging 9.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 21.9 minutes per games. His career numbers through 13 NBA campaigns are 17.1 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 2.7 RPG to go along with a slash line of .438/.370/.707.

Atlanta currently has a roster count of 16 players, 13 of whom possess fully guaranteed pacts, and three whose deals include partial guarantees.

Atlantic Notes: Richardson, Sixers, Knicks

Jason Richardson is open to re-signing with the Sixers this summer, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. The 34-year-old, who is set for unrestricted free agency, envisions himself in a similar role to the one he had this season. He served as a mentor to younger players while attempting to make the most of playing time. Richardson returned to the court on Feb. 20th for the first time in more than two years after suffering knee and ankle injuries. In 19 games, he averaged 9.1 points per game, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 21.9 minutes. In March, Sixers coach Brett Brown said he didn’t see a reason why the 34-year-old couldn’t play for another couple of seasons.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • In a separate piece, Pompey opines that it’s very likely Sixers fans will be calling for front office firings if winning is not made a priority after two straight seasons of tanking. Sixers co-managing owner Josh Harris said the team is “making progress” after its second season of tanking, Pompey writes. Harris did not say, however, when the team expects to start winning more games. “I just don’t think we’re there yet,” Harris said. “I think over time, the team will tell you. We’re going to continue to add great players, the best players we can, and really make sure they are well-coached and well-conditioned and ready to play and excited to be part of our organization and to bring it. And they are going to ultimately answer that question themselves.”
  • Marc Berman of the New York Post listed LaMarcus AldridgeGreg MonroePaul Millsap, Rajon RondoWesley MatthewsDeAndre JordanRobin LopezTobias HarrisDeMarre CarrollKhris MiddletonDanny Green and Patrick Beverley as 12 realistic free-agent targets for the Knicks. Those are a lot of names, of course, and some are more realistic than others. The Knicks are expected to be one of Monroe’s top choices. Berman writes that Hawks guard/forward Carroll has expressed interest in New York and playing for Derek Fisher. Last week, Carroll said he would “most definitely” give a great deal of consideration to the Knicks.

Atlantic Notes: Young, Jackson, Sixers

Thaddeus Young said Saturday that he wants to remain with the Nets even though he hasn’t decided on his early termination option for next season, worth as much as nearly $10.222MM, observes Andy Vasquez of The Record. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities can’t envision Young turning down that option and pointed to his earlier report that the forward had requested a trade from the Timberwolves through his agent (Twitter links). Young spoke of a mutual feeling of interest in a continued relationship with Brooklyn, and indeed Nets GM Billy King has said the team will do what it can to retain him, as King apparently sees him as a building block for the team’s future. While we wait to see exactly how Young and the Nets proceed, here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Marc Berman of the New York Post sees signs that Knicks president Phil Jackson will choose to leave the team before his five-year contract is through. The Knicks have fallen flat in Jackson’s first year at the helm, and he hinted to Harvey Araton of The New York Times earlier this season that he isn’t planning a long-term stay in New York.
  • Veterans Luc Mbah a Moute and Jason Richardson are favorites of Sixers coach Brett Brown, notes Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News, who takes a shot at sizing up the chances that many of the Sixers have of returning to the team next season. Richardson and Mbah a Moute are both set for unrestricted free agency this summer.
  • Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga has drawn the eye of George Mason University, which plans to make him a focus of its search for a new head coach, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Larranaga has surfaced as an NBA head coaching candidate in the past and interviewed for the C’s and Sixers head coaching jobs, Wojnarowski notes.
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