Josh Richardson

Southeast Notes: Graham, Love, Mathews, Richardson

Breakout Hornets point guard Devonte’ Graham is shooting just 27 percent from the field over the last nine games and that’s a sign that opponents are respecting him, former teammate Kemba Walker told Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.

“You learn, you grow and you adapt,” Walker said. “He’s showing the whole NBA how good a player he is, so that kind of attention is going to come. You just have to accept it as kind of a respect thing.” Earning a $1.4MM salary this season, Graham is one of the league’s biggest bargains. He is averaging 18.9 PPG, 7.7 APG, and 3.9 RPG for the 13-23 Hornets.

Graham’s recent shooting woes have decreased his field goal percentage this season to just 37.6% overall. That said, he still boasts two solid shooting percentages. Graham is connecting on 39.1% of his triples and 80.3% of his free throws with the Hornets.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • Trading for Cavaliers big man Kevin Love wouldn’t make sense for the Hornets, Bonnell writes in a mailbag post. While the team needs star power, Love is owed more than $90MM beyond this season and will be 34 when that contract expires in 2023, Bonnell continues. Even if the Hornets sneak into the playoffs, they wouldn’t be set up to advance with Love, limited on defense, as the No. 1 option, Bonnell adds.
  • Garrison Mathews said he was capable of torching an opponent with his shooting ability prior to his 28-point outburst against Miami on Monday, according to Mike DePrisco of NBC Sports Washington. The Wizards signed the undrafted rookie to a two-way contract in early July. Mathews, who made four 3-pointers and 12 free throws against the Heat, spoke of his offensive prowess during a pregame TV interview. “I’m not just a basketball player, I’m a professional shooter,” he said. A 6’5″ shooting guard out of Lipscomb, Mathews averaged 20.8 PPG and 5.5 RPG in his final season at Lipscomb, knocking down 3.2 threes per game at a 40.3% rate.
  • Josh Richardson could have been a perfect complementary piece to Jimmy Butler if the two were together with the Heat, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel opines. Miami needed to include Richardson in their sign-and-trade deal for Butler to make the salary requirements work. Richardson wound up in a better situation with Philadelphia, who have legitimate title aspirations than if he had been dealt to Minnesota last season when the Heat tried to put together a package for Butler, Winderman adds.

Additional contributions by Alex Kirschenbaum.

Atlantic Notes: Horford, Richardson, Rozier, Prokhorov

Al Horford hasn’t had a smooth transition to his new team after leaving the Celtics for the Sixers this summer, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Many expected Philadelphia to rise to the top of the East after adding the five-time All-Star, but Horford is still searching for his role in the offense alongside Joel Embiid.

Horford is averaging 12.6 PPG, his lowest scoring total in eight seasons, and his 46.0% field goal percentage and 6.6 rebounds are the lowest figures of his career. However, he averages 18.6 PPG in the six games Embiid has missed, suggesting his reduced numbers are tied to opportunity.

“I’m out (there) for the team and doing what I can to help us,” Horford said. “But offensively, I’m very limited with the things that I can do. So I can’t control that stuff. So all I have to do is make sure I’m there for the team, trying to do everything I can to help us win.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Josh Richardson discussed the need for more “accountability” after today’s blowout loss in Indiana, Pompey tweets. The Sixers trailed by more than 30 points in the second half. “I don’t think that there’s enough accountability in our locker room right now, honestly,” he said. “I think that we got some new guys, who don’t want to step on toes, including myself. I feel like we kind of go play, and don’t compete as much. There’s been games that we have and it’s been great. But when it’s not going good, we got to hold each other accountable. I think that’s where a lot of our problems start.” (Twitter link)
  • Former Celtics guard Terry Rozier notices the difference between this year’s 23-8 team and last year’s underachieving squad, relays Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. Rozier admits there may have been more talent last season, but the players seem to be enjoying the game more now. “Talent, it can’t always get you to where you want to go,” he said. “You’ve got to have the guys that want to be good, want to play hard, want to learn — stuff like that. Obviously you can have all the talent in the world; if you don’t put it together and everybody don’t buy in, it’s not going to work out. And I think that’s what we got caught up in last year.”
  • Former Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov was named Russian businessman of the year by Forbes Russia after netting a profit that may have reached $2 billion when he sold the team and Barclays Center, relays Net Income of NetsDaily.

Southeast Notes: Bertans, Wizards, Parker, Heat

Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard recently declared that the team fully intends to keep sharpshooter Davis Bertans beyond this season, and it appears that interest is reciprocated by the Latvian Laser and his camp. Bertans tells Fred Katz of The Athletic that he’s happy with the Wizards and that his family has been enjoying D.C.

“(D.C.) is just more something closer to home, like a little international, European style,” Bertans said. “There’s some history that not a lot of cities in the States have. And then when you’re downtown, everything is walking distance. That’s about it. My family loves it here. So, that’s a big part. … Happy wife, happy life.”

Bertans has, of course, been enjoying a career year on the court, emerging as one of the NBA’s best three-point shooters in terms of both accuracy (46.2%) and volume (4.0 made threes per game). According to Quinton Mayo of NBC Sports Washington, longtime agent Arturs Kalnitis said his client has appreciated the opportunity to “showcase his abilities” and has had an “all-around great experience” in Washington. Still, Kalnitis noted that Bertans figures to draw plenty of interest in free agency next July.

“This will be an interesting summer for Davis as many teams are high on him,” Kalnitis said. “Every team needs players like him to win a championship.”

Here’s more from around the Southeast:

  • Former first-round pick Anzejs Pasecniks, who signed a two-way contract with the Wizards this week, made his NBA debut on Wednesday, marking the first time two teammates from Latvia played together in the same game. Both Pasecniks and Bertans spoke about how much they valued that opportunity, as Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. “You can’t even imagine what kind of a small possibility that is,” Bertans said. “It’s an amazing feeling. It just shows that basketball in Latvia is growing very rapidly.”
  • In addition to being the first team to reach out to Jabari Parker in free agency, the Hawks also promised the most regular playing time, which was a major factor in the forward’s decision, as he tells Michael Pina of SB Nation. “Forget the contract and whatever. I’ve made a lot of money other places,” Parker said. “So it’s not just for the money. It’s just so I can enjoy the game. As long as I’m playing, that’s all I care about. It’s not about anything else.” Parker is averaging 27.4 minutes per game in Atlanta this season, his highest mark since 2016/17.
  • As a result of the offseason trade that sent Josh Richardson to Philadelphia, he and Justise Winslow are no longer teammates after spending the first four years of their respective NBA careers with the Heat. Still, Winslow claims the trade actually brought him and Richardson even closer. Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel has the story and the quotes.

Sixers Notes: Thybulle, Korkmaz, Neto, Richardson

It hasn’t taken long for Matisse Thybulle to become recognized as one of the NBA’s best defenders, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Defense was the calling card for Thybulle when he was selected with the 20th pick in this year’s draft, and his impact has been immediate. He leads the league in steals at 2.8 per game and is second on the team in blocks with 1.4 per night

“I try not to look at the numbers, because for me all the defensive (ones) just come from hustle and just getting lost in the game,” he said. “So it’s exciting to see the numbers. But do I really worry about them? No.

Sixers Expect To Pay Luxury Tax In 2020/21

Sixers managing partner Josh Harris anticipates that the team will be a luxury tax payer for the 2020-21 season, as he told Rich Hofmann of The Athletic in a Q&A session that also included GM Elton Brand.

Harris said there “are definitely issues” that come with being a taxpayer, including some roster restrictions. But he has no qualms about that prospect.

“If that’s what it takes to win, we’re going to do it,” he said.

The luxury tax threshold is approximately $132.6MM and Philadelphia is currently a few million below that number. However, the Sixers already have nearly $144MM in contract guarantees for next season. That’s due in large part to Ben Simmons‘ max extension. He’ll jump from $8.11MM this season to $29MM in the first year of that extension. The combined salaries for Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid and Al Horford next season total up to more than $91MM.

Harris and Brand provided some other interesting insights in the Q&A:

  • Harris expects the team to get deeper in the playoffs and everyone is accountable:  “I think we all feel some pressure. Elton does. I do. Brett and the players all want to deliver for the city,” he said.
  • Harris had hoped Jimmy Butler would re-sign but was impressed by the way the front office shifted gears to re-sign Harris, acquire Josh Richardson in a sign-and-trade with Miami, and bring in high-profile free agent Horford. “He obviously had a lot of choices and we’re happy for him that he’s with a great organization,” Harris said of Butler. “But for us, the job that Elton and his team did to pick up Al Horford and Josh Richardson on the heels of that and to get Josh Richardson back in a sign-and-trade obviously, I watched it from the inside and it was incredible.”
  • Brand presents Harris with various scenarios in free agency and trades to spell out how each move would impact the bottom line: Brand told Hofmann how he breaks it down to his boss. “Hey, these are our options. If this happens, I don’t know, but this player could be available, this player could be available, this player could be available. This looks like a 50-win season, this looks like a 55, our penetration could be this in the second round to the Eastern Conference Finals, to the finals. If we lose this player and can’t do a sign-and-trade, we’re going to be here.”

Eastern Notes: Oladipo, McCaw, Richardson, Prince

Victor Oladipo will begin participating in some full-contact 5-on-5 half-court scrimmages in the coming days but he still has more hurdles to clear before he’ll return to action, Tyler Kraft and Nathan Brown of the Indianapolis Star report. The Pacers have yet to announce a target date for the star guard, who suffered a ruptured quad tendon last season.

“He’s been doing some things 1-on-1,” Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. “But this is a good sign. They’re going slowly to try to work him into being able to go every day, but it’s good news to know he’ll be able to participate in that first part of practice.”

We have more Eastern Conference news:

  • Raptors swingman Patrick McCaw had an MRI on his left knee which revealed no structural damage, Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports tweets. McCaw suffered the injury during a preseason game last weekend. The Raptors re-signed McCaw to a two-year deal in July.
  • The Sixers were interested in acquiring Josh Richardson last season from the Heat before they traded for Jimmy Butler, Michael Lee of The Athletic reports. The Sixers were open to being a third party when the Heat were in trade talks with the Timberwolves for Butler with Philadelphia targeting Richardson. When those talks collapsed, the Sixers eventually worked out a trade for Butler. Those two swingmen were the main components of the sign-and-trade this summer when Butler agreed to join Miami.
  • Forward Taurean Prince is hopeful that he can reached an extension agreement with the Nets prior to Monday’s deadline, as he told Brian Lewis of the New York Post. He’ll be a restricted free agent next summer if he doesn’t sign an extension. “I want to be here as long as I can. And whatever happens, happens, but I’m just happy to play good basketball,” Prince said. “One hundred percent, yeah. For sure. This is the best organization I’ve been in.”

Sixers Notes: Thybulle, Horford, Richardson, Milton

Ben Simmons has seen enough of Matisse Thybulle in practice to be glad he won’t have to face him in the regular season, writes Rich Hoffman of The Athletic. “I hate him on defense,” Simmons said of the rookie guard, who displayed his defensive prowess in Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage. He forced turnovers throughout the afternoon and had an impressive block on a shot by Josh Richardson.

“I’m just chasing the ball every chance I get,” Thybulle said. “Deflections are just a side effect of hustle for me. … It’s fun to get out there and get a little feel, wreak a little havoc.”

It’s not clear how much the Sixers are planning to use the 20th overall pick, but he provides a disruptive force that can be useful to shut down perimeter scorers. Hoffman notes that Thybulle comes into the league with both a “high motor” and a quick recognition of what opponents are doing, two things that usually take time for rookies to develop.

There’s more Sixers news to pass along:

  • Players recognize the commitment that Philadelphia’s front office has made by handing out so many long-term contracts, Al Horford told Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. In addition to adding Horford as a free agent for $109MM for four years, the organization re-signed Tobias Harris this summer and gave a five-year extension to Simmons. “It helps tremendously because we can focus on playing and doing some special things,” Horford said. “Knowing the organization believes in this core and this group. They’ve showed it by giving us all long-term deals.”
  • Richardson is quickly emerging as a team leader, notes Lauren Rosen of NBA.com. Acquired from the Heat in the Jimmy Butler trade, Richardson has been working with younger players, particularly Zhaire Smith. The fifth-year swingman sees it as part of his overall responsibilities to help make the team better. “I’m kind of a guy that can morph into any role that I need to on any nightly basis to give us the best chance to win,” he said.
  • The battle for the backup point guard slot remains competitive, relays Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer. New additions Raul Neto and Trey Burke are vying for the position, but coach Brett Brown suggested Shake Milton may be considered as well.

Heat Notes: Adebayo, Richardson, Spoelstra, Arena

Exercising Bam Adebayo‘s fourth-year option displayed faith in a player that many in the Heat organization expect to show huge improvement this season, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Adebayo will make $5.1MM during the 2020/21 season and will be eligible for a rookie scale extension next summer. His role figures to increase after Miami traded away Hassan Whiteside in July.

“First off, he’s going to get more minutes, more exposure,” Goran Dragic told Jackson. “He already got tested, and we know what he can do. He’s a great player, great screener, roll to the basket. He brings a lot of energy to the team and I feel like this year is going to be different. More minutes, more responsibility. Everybody feels like, including me, that he’s ready for this big step in his career.”

There’s more from Miami:

  • Of all the moves the Heat made this offseason, Dragic sees the trade of Josh Richardson as the most surprising, Jackson adds in the same story. The fifth-year swingman was shipped to the Sixers as part of a complex four-team deal to acquire Jimmy Butler. Richardson is a valuable two-way player who is coming off his best season, posting a 16.6/3.6/4.1 line. “With Josh, I was a bit surprised,” Dragic said. “I was sad to see him go. But at the same time, I think he’s going to do well in Philadelphia. He’s a great player, great team player who is great around guys in the locker room.”
  • Coach Erik Spoelstra expressed appreciation for the support he has gotten from the Heat organization during an appearance with Doc Rivers on a recent edition of Adrian Wojnarowski’s ESPN podcast. “I think (owner) Micky (Arison) and (team president) Pat (Riley) are two of the best tandems in ownership and president in all of sports,” Spoelstra said. “… They understand the need for stability. They will weather storms, and we all struggled that first year. I struggled quite a bit, particularly in that Finals series. … The ownership and my bosses, I love who I work for because they do have my back.”
  • American Airlines won’t renew naming rights for the Heat’s arena, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. The team will be in the market for a new title sponsor after a 20-year arrangement.

Josh Richardson Talks Trade To Sixers, New Role

After four seasons in Miami, Josh Richardson finds himself on a new team. The shooting guard was shocked when he first heard about the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade that sent him to Philadelphia. However, after digesting the news, he became excited for the new opportunity, as Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes.

“I mean once it happened and I started looking at everything, it was smooth,” Richardson said. “I got excited once I saw our roster that we’re going to be working with, and I think we’ve got a good chance to come out of the East. And I’m excited to be able to go and play for a contender.”

While Miami appears to be a lock for the playoffs this upcoming season, the Sixers have positioned themselves to make the NBA Finals. Adding Richardson and Al Horford to go with incumbent starters Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris arguably gives Philadelphia the best starting five in the league.

Richardson saw an increase in field goal attempts in each of his four seasons in Miami with last year’s 14.1 shots per game representing his career high. The shooting guard understands that he may see fewer attempts on his new team, but he’s not worried about being deemed the fifth option in Philadelphia.

“It’s not really like that — one through five — that makes no sense,” Richardson said. “It’s not like a certain amount of touches every game. But being able to play with so much talent, it’s exciting. You can’t give one guy too much attention because you have four other guys that can hurt you just as much. Being able to play with guys like Ben and Jo, Tobias, Al is just, I don’t know, I’m excited.”

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Burke, O’Quinn, Smart, Fizdale

Despite the loss of J.J. Redick, the Sixers have plenty of perimeter shooters on their current roster, as Derek Bodner of The Athletic details. Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson, Mike Scott, Al Horford, James Ennis, Trey Burke and Raul Neto loom as long-range threats but mainly in catch-and-shoot situations. That means Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons need to create and open up space for their perimeter players.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Point guards Trey Burke and Raul Neto could be useful members of the Sixers’ rotation but big man Kyle O’Quinn will have regain the form he showed earlier in his career with the Knicks to make a meaningful contribution, Mike O’Connor of The Athletic writes. O’Connor breaks down the strengths and weaknesses of the incoming reserve trio and how they’ll fit in.
  • Marcus Smart admits the Celtics were a dysfunctional team last season, he said on ESPN’s The Jump this week. Many players were uncomfortable with their roles, according to Smart. “It’s hard for anybody to have to look themselves in mirror and sacrifice something,” Smart said.
  • The fact that the Knicks didn’t re-sign any of their nine free agents reflects poorly on coach David Fizdale, the New York Post’s Marc Berman opines. The teams sold player development over the team’s win-loss record last season, yet didn’t consider any of those players worthy of another contract, Berman notes.