Struggling Celtics Veteran Expected to Be Traded: Report

Josh Richardson trade rumors

Getty Celtics guard/forward Josh Richardson.

Josh Richardson returned to action from a left foot contusion on November 6th and proceeded to drop a season-high 13 points against his former team, the Dallas Mavericks. While the veteran wing finally flashed some of the two-way play that Boston had touted about all summer, those glimpses have been few and far between — especially for a player logging 22.5 minutes per game.

Through eight games, Richardson’s average points (7.5), assists (1.2), rebounds (2.5) and steals (0.5) all rank within the bottom two of his career. Serving as a roadblock to Aaron Nesmith and Romeo Langford’s path to minutes in many’s eyes, the question of why Richardson is currently taking up a roster spot in Boston has begun to circulate. Well, according to Mass Live’s Brian Robb, the answer to that question is actually quite simple:

Because he only cost the Celtics a fourth-string center in Moses Brown. The Celtics were going to lose the rest of the Gordon Hayward trade exception (TPE) this summer regardless so he provides some added depth that this group desperately needs, along with some salary filler via trade down the line. His one-year extension was given this offseason for that reason in my mind.

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Richardson on His Way Out of Boston?

Richardson was acquired in late July from the Mavs using the remainder of Hayward’s TPE. One month later, the Cs re-upped the former second-rounder’s deal, inking him to a contract extension that is set to pay him $24 million through 2023. Richardson’s deal makes him an easy throw-in on a trade to help bolster a return for Boston. The team has a few areas on the roster they’d likely want to upgrade upon if given the opportunity.

In the frontcourt, the team lacks much quality depth behind starters Al Horford and Robert Williams. They did add Juancho Hernangomez and Enes Kanter this offseason. However, both players remain an afterthought in coach Ime Udoka’s rotation. Then, there’s always the question of how truly committed the Celtics are to Marcus Smart. Long considered the team’s emotional leader, cracks in the relationship between him and the team’s superstar tandem of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have begun to peak their head through. His production as a lead guard this season also hasn’t been much to write home about, as he’s averaging just 8.6 points and 4.0 assists on the year while shooting 28.3% from beyond the arc.


Latest on Jaylen Brown

Richardson’s value to Boston may ultimately hinge on the health of Brown, who is currently dealing with a hamstring injury. Coach Udoka informed reporters on November 8th that the star wing is expected to miss 1-2 weeks of game action, via ESPN. Brown is currently engulfed in trade chatter — a common occurrence for 25-year-old — as he’s been linked to the 76ers in reported discussions the Celtics have had with Philly regarding disgruntled guard Ben Simmons. With that said, the likelihood Boston budges on such an asking price is extremely unlikely.

If Brown stays put and his bill of health checks out, Richardson could find himself on the move once again.

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