The Miami Heat are all in on building around their core that helped lead them to a 30-11 record the second half of the 2016-17 season (Richardson was hurt for much of that) and are signing 23-year-old 3-and-D wing Josh Richardson to a four-year, $42 million extension.
Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson is finalizing a 4-year, $42M contract extension, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 13, 2017
Richardson dealt with some injury issues his second year and wasn’t as efficient of a shooter from the field or three-point line, but he has proven and projects to be just the sort of defensive wing player and good three-point shooter that is essential in today’s NBA.
He averaged 10.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 53 games last season and should play a large role for Miami next season at the age of 24 (he turns 24 on Friday).
After re-signing James Johnson and Dion Waiters and now extending Josh Richardson this summer it is pretty opaque that the Miami Heat are excited and comfortable with their core and believe in the reality of their 30-11 finish last season and think they can make some noise in the eastern conference.
The Heat’s summer feels eerily similar to the Blazers last year when they spent big money and went into the luxury tax to essentially keep their team in place after a 45 win season and a playoff series victory. That has looked to be a massive mistake for Portland so far and could be the same for Miami, time will tell.
Either way Richardson is a valuable young player and probably would have commanded similar money on the open market next summer.
You have had a perfect example of what skills and kind of players are at a premium in today’s NBA as two young swing players around the same age with similar production in Richardson and Shabazz Muhammad got vastly different contracts (Muhammad re-signed for the minimum in Minnesota) because of the perception around the league and Richardson being viewed as a 3-and-D guy while Muhammad is not.
The Heat expect to be a top four seed in the east next season and are hoping Richardson has a big role in that.