A few years ago, the Miami Heat weren’t one of the best teams in the league. In fact, they were pretty mediocre and had a somewhat bleak future.
They weren’t good enough to make lots of noise in the postseason or bad enough to get a high draft pick. It was almost as if they were in no man’s land.
One of the standout players on those teams was wing Josh Richardson, who started out his career with the Heat after being drafted by the team in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Richardson consistently evolved his game during his time in Miami, but it seemed like the team asked too much of him when it needed him to be the primary scorer during the 2018-19 season.
The University of Tennessee product was eventually traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019 as part of the four-team trade that brought Jimmy Butler to Miami.
Since the 2019-20 season, Richardson has bounced around the league and played for a total of four teams. He could be on the move yet again, and one NBA executive recently threw out some interesting possibilities.
“He can play three positions,” the executive told Heavy.com regarding Richardson. “He has been a backup point guard, and he can still do that for you. Miami, everyone talks about P.J. Tucker, but they need some depth on the wing— can you expect [Victor] Oladipo to go a full 82 (games) this year? That’s a gamble. If you want to move [Duncan] Robinson, with his contract, it might take a rebuilding team to take it on because they can hold it and flip it for another pick later, like Oklahoma City has done so many times. Obviously, he has a great rapport with that Heat franchise, he started there. I’d like Richardson for the [New York] Knicks, too, they need a good, solid veteran who plays both ways on the wing. They could give up a young guy or a pick. The [Memphis] Grizzlies, too, they want to raise the overall talent level. He fits what they do, he can fill in at three spots.”
It would certainly be interesting if the Heat were to acquire Richardson again. A deal including Robinson and a first-round pick would work.
The 29-year-old could flourish in a secondary role for the Heat. He wouldn’t need to take that much time to readapt since Erik Spoelstra is still the team’s head coach. Richardson also has a great relationship with Heat big man Bam Adebayo.
It seems like the Heat are pretty content with the squad they currently have, however. Some of the team’s youngsters have also been showing out during preseason.
23-year-old Jamal Cain has had a couple of great performances and shown many of the same things that Richardson did when he first came into the league.
Only time will tell what ends up happening, but it seems like the Heat don’t really need Richardson right now. Hopefully, he’ll be able to establish himself with the San Antonio Spurs before he hits free agency in 2023.