Josh Richardson “might be a little selfish” according to one NBA scout, but playing for the Miami Heat could help him overcome that reputation as he will be counted on to make a meaningful contribution to a team with championship aspirations this season.
“Josh Richardson has really struggled since he left there but yet at the same time, he still produced numbers and been annoying defensively,” the scout told Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. “You hear stuff about him in the locker rooms, that he might be a little selfish and whatnot. Well, if there’s any place that won’t be a factor it is Miami. So I bet you see a really good Josh Richardson. So that’ll help replace some of what they lost.”
Like many of the Heat’s supporting players, Richardson may be looked to for an increased role after Miami failed to land Damian Lillard or make any other groundbreaking acquisitions this offseason.
The 30-year-old is back with the Heat after playing his first NBA four seasons with them, starting with his debut in the 2015-16 campaign. He reportedly turned down more money from another team and rejoined the Heat this offseason after a conversation with head coach Erik Spoelstra.
The University of Tennessee product began last season with the San Antonio Spurs before finishing it with the New Orleans Pelicans. Those marked his fourth and fifth NBA teams in four seasons since leaving the Heat, a possible telltale sign of whatever locker room problems may have surrounded him.
Not only did the Heat fail to land Lillard this offseason — as he was traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Milwaukee Bucks in late September — but they also missed out on Jrue Holiday, who wound up with the Boston Celtics.
That’s in addition to losing important contributors from their run to the 2023 NBA Finals. Gabe Vincent signed with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent, and Max Strus wound up with the Cleveland Cavaliers in a sign-and-trade.
Richardson will be counted on to replace some of their production, but he won’t be the only one. Players like Tyler Herro will also have a chance to step up and fill the gap.
The 23-year-old Herro is another intriguing player for the Heat after he was not traded this offseason despite constant rumors that he would be. The former Sixth Man of the Year is likely to be Miami’s third-best player behind stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, though he may have to improve his work on the defensive end.
The Heat have one more preseason game remaining, on Friday against the Houston Rockets, as their players look to solidify their roles before their 2023-24 NBA regular season opener on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at home against the Detroit Pistons.