The Miami Heat may want to consider in investing with the Rich.
Miami Heat guard Josh Richardson is an investment the Heat could see pay big dividends sooner than later. He has steadily improved each season since being drafted in the 2015 NBA Draft. Richardson was once a project for head coach Erik Spoelstra, he is now ready to shake up the 305.
Richardson will not see another contract offer until 2021 after coming to mutual terms with Miami on a 4-year/42 million dollar contract. It seemed as if Richardson lived up to his nickname of “J-Rich” after receiving this kind of contract being a player off the bench.
Is he really, though?
We have seen numerous of players in the NBA offered unfitting contracts because of the increase in salary cap with the new deals and rise of the league. According to other contracts, J-Rich is receiving around the average salary of an rotational NBA player now.
Richardson is expected to soon break that “average” NBA player term and transition into a Miami star.
Since his rookie season in 2016, Richardson has doubled his points per game as well with other stats. After averaging only 6.6 ppg in his rookie year he has rewarded coach Erik Spoelstra with improved productivity as he earned more minutes. With just three years in the league, Richardson is now averaging 12.9 ppg and finding his way into the starting lineup. His above average defensive play and ability to guard multiple positions on the wing gives the Heat flexibility with their guard heavy rotation.
With this kind of production only comes potential to the 24-year old guard and the Miami Heat.
The Heat still carry weapons in Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, and sporadically Dion Waiters. However with the Big 3 era becoming a distant memory, and Dwyane Wade’s future still in question; who is Miami’s new star? Richardson could be the answer to this question that is on the mind of Miami Heat fans everywhere.
Miami fans saw Richardson have a number of 20-point games with a career-high 30-point game against the Houston Rockets last season. His playmaking ability is underrated and he possesses a natural defensive awareness which fits in with Miami’s identity.
If Richardson can continue lifting his scoring ability as well as his defensive aggressiveness on the other end, he will soon turn himself into a star.
Expect J-Rich to lift his average shot attempts of roughly nine a game to somewhere in the teens. After this Heat team allows him to shoot more, Richardson will progress into a volume scorer being able to get his 20 points when needed.
It’s only a matter of time before Richardson breaks the cap for the Heat and becomes the shining star of South Beach. Time and his scoring aggressiveness only stand between J-Rich and that moment.