The Boston Celtics appear to have doled out their third contract extension in one week’s time. After previously coming to terms with guard Marcus Smart and big man Rob Williams, the team has now extended newly acquired wing Josh Richardson, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Monday evening.
Richardson’s extension agreement was confirmed to Charania by his agent, BDA Sports’ Erik Kabe, and will tack another year and an additional $12.4 million to his contract.
The 27-year-old, who was a second-round pick of the Miami Heat in 2015, was just acquired by the Celtics last month in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks. In return, the Mavs received talented young center Moses Brown, who Boston had netted earlier this summer in the Kemba Walker deal.
Why the Celtics May Have Pulled the Trigger on Richardson’s Extension
Richardson was seemingly acquired to act as a replacement for the outgoing Evan Fournier, who just got a massive deal from the New York Knicks. And by locking him in for an additional year (through the 2022-23 campaign), team president Brad Stevens has secured the Celtics’ wing position.
“Josh brings a great grit and edge,” Stevens said after Richardson officially became a Celtic. “He can defend several positions.”
However, Richardson’s extension likely came with future moves in mind as well.
As is also the case with Smart and Williams, Richardson will become eligible to be traded in January. And his deal is one that should be easy to move.
Ever since the Celtics were eliminated in the first round of the NBA Playoffs by the Brooklyn Nets, there have been rumblings that the team could look to add another star player. In the short time that has passed since Richardson’s deal was reported, fans and pundits alike have already mused about packaging him with other players to acquire Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards.
Whether or not Beal is a legitimate possibility remains to be seen. However, by adding multiple attractive players at affordable rates, the Celtics have equipped themselves with a slew of trade chips that could potentially be used to acquire a big-name player, if one becomes available to them.
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Richardson May Have More to Offer As a Shooter
In 59 games last season with the Mavericks, Richardson put up 12.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 steals per contest. A strong line, to be sure, but he shot just 33% from three-point range in Dallas. Stevens believes he can do better with the Cs, though.
“I think that last year was a little bit of an anomaly in how he shot the ball,” Stevens said. “He’s always been a good shooter and our numbers would say that when he gets the open opportunities, he’s better obviously than he shot last year.”
During his four-year stay with the Heat, he had been a 36.8% three-point shooter. He also showed some big-time scoring chops with the Heat, averaging 16.6 points per game in 2018-19.