After going on their first NBA Finals run since 2010, it’s become easy to forget that Josh Richardson played for the Boston Celtics last season. The Celtics traded him, along with Romeo Langford, their 2022 first-round pick, and a 2028 pick swap to the San Antonio Spurs for Derrick White at the trade deadline.
Before the trade, Richardson averaged 9.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists while shooting 44.3 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from three in the 44 games he played for the Celtics.
Richardson finished out the season with the Spurs, who made it to the play-in game but fell to the New Orleans Pelicans. After the Spurs traded Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks for Danilo Gallinari – who they waived shortly thereafter – and multiple picks, they signaled that they were starting a rebuild. While they haven’t traded anyone since, Richardson may be next in line to find a new home.
According to LJ Ellis of SpursTalk, Richardson is one of two Spurs most commonly put in trade talks, whose asking price for him is quite high.
“Sources say Jakob Poeltl and Josh Richardson are the two Spurs players most commonly involved in trade talk. While the Spurs have dropped their asking price for the utilization of their salary cap space, their asking price for Poeltl and Richardson remains high. For Richardson, the Spurs are requesting a first-round pick.”
In the 21 games Richardson played for the Spurs, he averaged 11.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.3 assists while shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from three. Ellis added that the Spurs are content with keeping Richardson until an acceptable package is offered to them.
“Although it’s definitely possible that the Spurs trade Poeltl and/or Richardson before the start of the regular season, a team insider tells me the franchise is willing to hold onto both players until the trade deadline if that’s what it takes to get an acceptable package in return.”
Lakers and Spurs Discussed Russell Westbrook Trade
“At one point in time, the Spurs were in talks with the Los Angeles Lakers to absorb Russell Westbrook’s contract. In that scenario, San Antonio was to be compensated with multiple draft picks.”
However, the two sides are not talking because the Lakers are more interested in what other teams have to offer compared to the Spurs.
“Currently, a source close to the Spurs says the two teams are no longer engaged in active talks due to the Lakers preferring offers by both the Pacers and the Jazz.”
Ellis did not specify that Richardson was included in those talks, but the $12,196,094 he’s slated to make this season would make up a good portion of the $47,063,478 that Westbrook is slated to make should a deal be agreed upon.
Proposed Trade Sends Richardson to Cleveland
After the Donovan Mitchell trade was completed, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report proposed a trade that would send Richardson to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Cedi Osman, Dylan Windler for a second-round pick. Swartz would go on to explain why the Cavaliers would do a trade like that.
“Richardson is a strong blend of outside shooting and defense, as he connected on 41.5 percent of three-pointers last season and can cover multiple positions with his 6’5″, 200-pound frame. The 28-year-old wing would be a good connecting piece between the stars in Cleveland’s lineup, spacing the floor but not dominating the ball.”
Richardson’s three-point shooting was a splendid surprise during the 2021-22 season. Richardson shot 41.5 percent from three in both his time with the Celtics and Spurs, according to Basketball-Reference, which was the highest he’s shot from there since his rookie season with the Miami Heat when he shot 46.1 percent.