Josh Richardson

Eastern Notes: Turner, Richardson, Bulls, Nets

Myles Turner was selected by the Pacers with the No. 11 overall pick in 2015. Turner revealed that he expected to go much higher in the lottery, Tidal League tweets.

“I thought I was going number 5 to Orlando. … I’m at the table in the green room. ‘With the number 5 pick the Orlando Magic select Mario Hezonja.’ I’m like, ‘Who the (expletive) is this?'” Turner said, adding that it was a “blessing in disguise” when he ended up going to Indiana at No. 11.

We have more notes from the Eastern Conference:

  • Josh Richardson joined the Heat in 2015 after playing four seasons at Tennessee, making him a polished, ready-for-prime-time player.  Entering his second stint with the franchise, Richardson continues to play with an intelligent, measured style that has aged well, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel opines. Richardson rejoined Miami as a free agent on a two-year contract.
  • The Bulls remain outside the top six in the Eastern Conference’s pecking order, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times. They are not a serious threat as currently constructed, though all the teams above them are flawed, Cowley writes. The Bucks and Celtics take the top two spots in Cowley’s rankings.
  • The Nets earned a B-minus for their offseason moves, according to The team’s two biggest question marks remain unanswered — namely, do they have enough scoring and can they improve their rebounding?

Heat Notes: Swider, Richardson, Butler, Lowry

Cole Swider is hoping to be the Heat‘s next success story in player development, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Miami has shown a knack for finding useful players who have gone undrafted, many of whom are coming off opportunities with other teams. Swider wants to put his name on that list with Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, Duncan Robinson, Orlando Robinson and others.

“It was a big part of my decision-making process,” Swider said. “There were a lot of teams that were interested. And a lot of ’em were interested in the same thing the Heat were interested in, an Exhibit 10 (tryout contract) and the opportunity to earn a two-way or a roster spot. But the success with the Heat with those guys gave me an easy decision, in terms of they’re going to give you a real opportunity in training camp, they’re going to give you real opportunities to get on the floor and play through mistakes and make the team.”

Swider, a 24-year-old small forward, signed a two-way contract with the Lakers after going undrafted out of Syracuse in 2022. He saw minimal playing time in seven games with L.A., spending most of the season in the G League.

Another reason Swider decided to go to Miami was the team’s need for outside shooting after losing Strus and Vincent in free agency. Swider is a shooting specialist, connecting at 50.6% from the field and 43.6% from beyond the arc in 27 G League games last season.

“Because of the type of guys like me in the past, they know how to use guys like me,” he said. “When I do something in pickup that looks like Duncan or Max or Gabe, they know how to use me in a game. It’s not like, ‘Oh, this only works in pickup.’”

There’s more from Miami:

  • Josh Richardson has aged well throughout his NBA career and should be a reliable rotation player this season, Winderman states in a mailbag column. Richardson, who was drafted by the Heat in 2015, returned to the organization this summer after playing for five teams in the last four years. Winderman notes that he relies on intelligence as much as speed and athleticism and has remained productive at age 30.
  • Jimmy Butler falls just short of the NBA’s exceptions in its new Player Participation Policy, but his medical history may give the Heat more opportunity to rest him, Winderman adds in another piece. Teams can petition the league to sit out players in back-to-back games if they’re at least 35 years old or have logged more than 34,000 career minutes or 1,000 total games in the regular season and playoffs. Butler is 34 with 29,513 minutes in 873 games, but his history of knee issues may qualify him to get approval under the PPP’s injury provision.
  • NBA Twitter was buzzing Saturday night when Heat guard Kyle Lowry was spotted alongside Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups at the Colorado-Colorado State football game (video link). Lowry is among the players who may be headed to Portland if the teams can agree on a Damian Lillard trade.

Heat Notes: Lillard, Starters, Wood, Rebounding

The Heat don’t have any reason to increase their offer for Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard unless they’re determined to have him when training camp opens, Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald writes in a mailbag column. No other team has made a significant offer for Lillard, Chiang notes, so Miami would essentially be bidding against itself by giving more assets to Portland.

Chiang adds that the first step would be for the Heat and Blazers to resume trade discussions, which have been dormant for several weeks. Sources around the league tell Chiang that they expect the teams to start talking again some time before they both open camp in early October.

Chiang also speculates that things might get “messier” in Portland if Lillard is still on the roster at the start of camp, which would mark three months after he submitted his trade request. It’s not ideal for the Heat to start preparing for a new season amid so much uncertainty, so the time pressure could renew both teams’ interest in getting a trade completed.

There’s more from Miami:

  • Without a trade, the Heat’s most likely starting lineup appears to be Kyle Lowry, Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Love and Bam Adebayo, Chiang adds in the same piece. Butler and Adebayo are the only full-time starters returning from a team that just reached the NBA Finals a few months ago, although Herro was sidelined with an injury and Lowry and Love both have extensive starting experience. Chiang speculates that Caleb Martin could take Love’s place on occasions when Miami wants to use a smaller starting five, and Herro could be used as a makeshift point guard with Josh Richardson starting alongside him in the backcourt.
  • The Heat were mentioned as a possible destination for Christian Wood before he signed with the Lakers this week, but Miami isn’t in position to make complementary roster moves until it knows what’s going to happen with Lillard, according to Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. Wood reportedly had been watching the trade requests involving Lillard and James Harden to see if a situation might open up that would offer him regular playing time, but he decided not to wait any longer to find his next team.
  • Erik Spoelstra’s experience as an assistant coach with Team USA during the World Cup provided him with another example of the need for size on the front line, Winderman adds. The Americans were routinely outrebounded by larger opponents, just as Miami was in losing to the Nuggets in the NBA Finals. The Heat finished 27th in the league in rebounding last season, which may affect Spoelstra’s decision on whom to start at power forward.

Heat Notes: Richardson, Bryant, Swider, Bouyea, Lillard

After briefly discussing the Heat‘s offseason moves during an ESPN interview last week, head coach Erik Spoelstra went into more detail while taking part in a Zoom call with reporters on Wednesday. As Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald writes, Spoelstra is looking forward to having former Heat wing Josh Richardson back on the roster in 2023/24.

“To be able to get somebody like J-Rich, who we are all really comfortable with, who we spent so many hours and years spending time developing him and where he feels also comfortable in our system and how we operate, we just feel very fortunate that we were able to get him when we were able to get him,” Spoelstra said.

“He’s already been in the gym working and it’s almost like, I mentioned to him the last time I saw him in the gym, it’s like the time away never happened. The relationship just started off right where we left it. That’s when you know you have strong relationships back and forth from our standpoint and his standpoint. Also, his versatility is going to be super important. His ability to play multiple positions.”

Here are a few more notes on the Heat, including Spoelstra’s thoughts on some of the team’s other recent additions:

  • According to Spoelstra, newly added center Thomas Bryant is a player the Heat have had their eye on for several years. They worked him out prior to the 2017 draft and were fans of the big man at the time. “His time with (the Lakers last season), I thought was really important,” Spoelstra said of Bryant. “You could see how he could be effective in our system and how he can play with multiple guys. He’s big, he’s physical, he plays with a motor and he can also stretch the floor. So he can have a presence at the rim and in the paint, but he also can space the floor and be efficient behind the three-point line. We’re excited to be able to add him to our roster and add some depth to our frontcourt and some versatile depth.”
  • Spoelstra expressed enthusiasm about forward Cole Swider, who signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the team earlier this month.“He has positional size, he has exceptional three-point shooting and range and versatility with his three-point shooting,” the head coach said. “He can shoot on the move, he can also space the floor and he has the size to be able to get his shot off with great accuracy. So we’re excited to be able to add him to our mix late into the summer. We’re looking forward to developing him and working with him.” Our Tristan Tucker recently identified Swider as a candidate to eventually earn a two-way or standard deal.
  • Spoelstra also believes the Heat will see “bigger jumps” from Jamaree Bouyea, who remained with the club on another two-way deal. “He improved being able to run a team, get guys organized,” Spoelstra said, referring to Bouyea’s play in the G League. “And defensively and the things that he can do with his speed are just super unique. So we wanted to have an opportunity to continue his development and have a second year at it.”
  • Following Damian Lillard‘s public confirmation of his trade request in an interview with Marc J. Spears of Andscape, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald breaks down that interview from a Heat perspective, noting that trade talks with the Trail Blazers have been “largely dormant” for several weeks.

Erik Spoelstra Discusses Heat’s Roster, Offseason Moves

There’s a sense that the Heat‘s offseason remains unfinished, with the Damian Lillard saga unresolved and Miami still looking like the overwhelming favorite to trade for the Trail Blazers star sooner or later.

However, speaking to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on NBA Today on Thursday (YouTube link), head coach Erik Spoelstra suggested that he’d be happy to head into the 2023/24 season with his current roster, noting that the team “had most of our work done” by the time he reported to Team USA for the summer.

“We’re bringing back the majority of our players and that’s a luxury in this league,” Spoelstra said, per Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. “Things are so transient, things are moving fast. It seems like it’s moving faster now than even four, five, six years ago.

“We feel great about our group. We made some nice additions, we feel. Josh Richardson, getting another family member back into our program. Thomas Bryant, who we’ve been a big fan of. And [Jaime] Jaquez as our draft pick. We’re excited. He’s a guy you can plug and play right now. He’s a little bit older and he has a great deal of experience. So we’re adding those guys to our mix and bringing everybody back. Tyler [Herro] is healthy, Jimmy [Butler] and Bam [Adebayo], that’s a great core. So we’re excited about it.”

Spoelstra obviously can’t publicly discuss the possibility of adding Lillard and is unlikely to be directly involved in trade negotiations for the star guard, which will be handled by the front office. So the fact that he’s speaking positively about his current group is no surprise.

Still, Spoelstra is putting a positive spin on what has been an up-and-down offseason so far for the Heat. While Miami did well to get Richardson and Bryant on minimum-salary deals, the team lost two key rotation players – Gabe Vincent and Max Strus – in free agency. The Heat should be competitive again with no additional roster changes, but acquiring Lillard would almost certainly increase the club’s ceiling.

Southeast Notes: Hornets, J. Richardson, D. Robinson, Gallinari

Restricted free agent P.J. Washington and the Hornets remain at an impasse in contract negotiations and there have been “no indications” of that changing anytime soon, league sources tell Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer.

Boone examines the team’s roster and depth chart entering the 2023/24 season, writing that No. 2 overall pick Brandon Miller projects to come off the bench behind veterans Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward.

Assuming Washington is on the roster, he’ll have the inside track for the starting power forward position, with Miles Bridges suspended for the first 10 games. However, Boone wonders if the Hornets will eventually pivot to Bridges if they get off to a slow start.

2021 first-round picks James Bouknight and Kai Jones will likely find minutes tough to come by, Boone adds.

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • Appearing at the Heat‘s youth camp on Wednesday, returning swingman Josh Richardson said Damian Lillard is the best player he’s played against, as Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel relays. Lillard’s status, of course, has been one of the primary stories of the offseason, as the longtime Trail Blazers star requested a trade to Miami. Richardson, a free agent signee, said his game is malleable and he’s ready for whatever role he’s given. “I mean, you know how (head coach Erik Spoelstra) Spo is, he’s kind of like, ‘I can put you out there and do anything,’” Richardson said of not sweating how the roster or his role ultimately could shake out. “So it’s kind of what I’m good at. I’m kind of a jack of all trades. Our talk was good before, but I’ll guess we’ll see more concrete once the games get started.”
  • In a subscriber-only mailbag for The Sun Sentinel, Winderman notes that while losing Max Strus‘ shooting could make Duncan Robinson more valuable to the Heat, the latter certainly isn’t irreplaceable. Robinson’s name has popped up in trade rumors for several months and he could be used as a salary-matching piece in a possible Lillard deal.
  • Wizards forward Danilo Gallinari, who was acquired from Boston as part of the Kristaps Porzingis trade, says he’s looking forward to competing against the Celtics next season, according to Daniel Donabedian of Clutch Points. “I can’t wait to play against Boston,” Gallinari said on the Italian A Cresta Alta podcast. “When the schedule will be unveiled, I’ll put an X on the games we will play at Boston against the Celtics.” Gallinari grew up idolizing Celtics legend Larry Bird and hoped to win a title in Boston, but missed all of last season after tearing his ACL last year.

Heat Notes: Jaquez, Jovic, D. Robinson, O. Robinson, Richardson

Heat players are trying to focus on their Summer League games, but trade rumors are never far away, especially for those who might be sent to Portland in a potential Damian Lillard deal, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel. First-round pick Jaime Jaquez was held out of Saturday’s game and Nikola Jovic stayed on the bench for the final 7:59, leading to speculation that the Heat are trying to protect their trade assets. Both players have minor injuries that coach Caron Butler didn’t want to risk aggravating.

“I don’t mind trade talk,” said Jovic, a first-round pick in 2022. “I’m not that much on Twitter. People from Europe don’t use it that much. I heard a lot of it was on Twitter, so I’m trying to keep away from that.”

Duncan Robinson, another potential trade piece because of the three seasons remaining on his five-year, $90MM contract, attended Saturday’s game and talked to the Heat’s broadcast team about what it’s like to constantly be involved in trade rumors. He said it’s important to avoid being consumed by the speculation and to stay away from social media as much as possible.

There’s more on the Heat:

  • Orlando Robinson showed off an improved three-point shot as he posted 36 points in Saturday’s win over the Celtics, observes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. The 23-year-old center has been working to improve that part of his game after going 0-for-6 from long distance during his rookie season. “I definitely tweaked some things, keeping my arm closer to me and keeping it more in line and getting more arc on it instead of flat,” Robinson said. “And just repetitions. Just getting up as many threes as possible, so I can mentally get those reps and just feel it. So when I get into the game, I can shoot confidently.”
  • Jaquez may not play at all in Las Vegas after hurting his shoulder on Wednesday in the final game of the California Classic Summer League, Chiang adds in another Herald story. “My goal is I want to play if I can,” Jaquez said. “I want to be out there with the guys and showcase what I can do. But at the same time, understanding that you got to take care of your body as well. It’s just kind of finding that in between. But day-to-day right now.”
  • Josh Richardson had better offers from other teams, but he opted to sign for the veteran’s minimum because he wants to return to Miami, per Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. Richardson started his career with the Heat before being shipped to Philadelphia in the Jimmy Butler trade in 2019. “Sometimes you have got to sacrifice certain things,” he said. “I had talks with coaches and after weighing the options, I thought that it would be in my best interests and everyone involved to come back and give it another go.”

Josh Richardson Signs Two-Year Contract With Heat

JULY 2: Richardson’s deal with the Heat is now official, according to a press release from the team.

JUNE 30: Veteran free agent swingman Josh Richardson is reportedly inking a two-year, minimum-salary contract to return to the Heat, report Shams Charania of The Athletic and Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (Twitter links).

Jackson notes that the deal includes a player option for 2024/25. Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra reached out to Richardson at the start of the free agent period to recruit Richardson, per Jackson. Jackson tweets that a rival club offered the 6’5″ shooting guard/small forward more money, but he was swayed by the conversation with one of the league’s best coaches.

Mike Scotto of HoopsHype reports that the Timberwolves and Celtics also were hoping to sign Richardson. Scotto reveals that team president Pat Riley was also involved in the recruitment call to reacquire Richardson.

Miami, which as of now is already in luxury tax terrain in terms of its current contracts, has done well in adding a quality 3-and-D rotation wing on a team-friendly deal. The annual cap hits on a minimum deal for Richardson will be $2,891,467 in 2023/24 and $3,051,153 in 2024/25.

Miami first drafted Richardson out of Tennessee with the No. 40 pick in 2015, and flipped him to the Sixers as part of the deal that brought All-NBA wing Jimmy Butler to South Beach.

Across 65 games split between the Spurs and Pelicans in 2023/24, Richardson averaged 10.1 PPG on .431/.365/.852 shooting splits, along with 2.7 RPG, 2.7 APG and 1.1 SPG.

Atlantic Notes: Brunson, Quickley, Raptors, R. Williams, Harris

There was a general perception that the Knicks may have overpaid point guard Jalen Brunson last summer when they signed him to a four-year, $104MM contract. Instead, he has been outperforming his nine-figure deal to an extent that’s rare for New York sports stars, according to Howie Kussoy of The New York Post (subscriber link).

Kussoy points to the contracts signed by various players across the four major North American sports leagues as examples, writing that most haven’t lived up to the lofty expectations of their enormous paydays.

Brunson, meanwhile, had an All-Star-caliber debut season with New York and has been the Knicks’ best player in the playoffs, averaging 26.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.5 steals on .457/.300/.915 shooting through 10 games (39.8 minutes). Kussoy states that Brunson has the “inside track” on becoming the best free agent addition in team history.

Here’s more from the Atlantic:

  • Knicks reserve Immanuel Quickley has been ruled out of Friday’s Game 6 in Miami, head coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters, including Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News (Twitter link). The third-year guard is still battling a left ankle sprain and had previously been listed as doubtful. Quickley will miss his third straight game with the injury.
  • The 2023 free agent class isn’t the strongest, particularly the group of players who might be available for the Raptors‘ mid-level exception or less, according to Eric Koreen of The Athletic, who lists 25 players Toronto could target. Among the top candidates Koreen considers realistic are Bruce Brown, Donte DiVincenzo, Nickeil Alexander-Walker (for part of the MLE, not full) and Josh Richardson. Brown and DiVincenzo hold team-friendly player options for 2023/24, while Alexander-Walker will be restricted if Minnesota gives him a qualifying offer — only Richardson is an unrestricted free agent at the moment.
  • Celtics guard Marcus Smart was thrilled with head coach Joe Mazzulla‘s adjustment of inserting Robert Williams into the starting lineup for Game 6, per Jamal Collier of ESPN. “I was ecstatic about it,” Smart said. “To have Rob in there, he changes the game a lot … that just goes to show you, Joe is learning. Just like all of us. I know he’s been killed a lot. Rightfully so. He needs to make some adjustments, and he did that. And that’s all you can ask for, just continue to be the best he can be. It takes everybody; it’s a full team effort.” Williams recorded 10 points, nine rebounds and two blocks, and the Celtics were plus-18 in his 28 minutes.
  • It was reported in April that Sixers owner Josh Harris had reached an agreement to buy the NFL’s Washington Commanders. Harris and the team released a joint statement on Friday officially announcing the sale, as Sam Robinson of Pro Football Rumors relays. The agreement still has to be approved by the other NFL owners, but that’s considered a formality.

Central Notes: Pacers, Pistons, Duren, Cavs

Indiana will be hosting six prospects on Friday for the team’s first pre-draft workout, the Pacers announced in a press release.

The six players are UConn’s Andre Jackson, UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez, Missouri’s Kobe Brown, Creighton’s Arthur Kaluma, North Dakota State’s Grant Nelson, and Liutauras Lelevicius, a Lithuanian prospect who played for Zalgris II this past season.

Jackson (30), Jaquez (32), Brown (43), Kaluma (90), and Nelson (94) all appear on ESPN’s top-100 prospects list, while Lelevicius is unranked. The Pacers control their own lottery pick, two late first-rounders (26th and 29th), and two second-round picks (either 50th or 32nd, plus 55th).

Here’s more from the Central:

  • Hiring the right head coach, having a successful draft, and acquiring forward depth in free agency are among the top offseason priorities for the Pistons, according to Mike Curtis of The Detroit News (subscriber link), who thinks the team should pursue Nets restricted free agent Cameron Johnson.
  • Pistons center Jalen Duren, who was recently named to the All-Rookie Second Team, was mostly pleased with his debut season, but he’s going to work on his conditioning and consistency in year two, Curtis writes in another subscriber-only story. “Consistency is a huge word,” Duren said. “To be great, you have to be consistent. For me, it’s honestly just being locked in and trying to understand what’s going on. ‘Being where my feet are,’ I like to say, and try to take over games, dominate games and affect games in any way possible. … I feel like that will come. I’m excited about what I can be in this league.”
  • Josh Richardson, Kelly Oubre, Max Strus, Gary Trent Jr. and Jalen McDaniels could be the types of wings the Cavaliers choose to go after in free agency with their mid-level exception, Kelsey Russo states in a mailbag for The Athletic. I don’t see Trent falling to that price point, especially since he could just opt in to his $18.8MM player option if he isn’t confident about getting a better payday, but the other four might be attainable (whether or not they’d be a good fit is another story).