Potential Abound For Josh RichardsonWarning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
When people look back at what the HEAT did in the 2015 NBA Draft, they likely will remember Miami acquiring a steal in Justise Winslow with the tenth overall pick. While Winslow was a tremendous value for the HEAT, the team’s second round pick can also make some noise with time.
That pick at 40th overall was 6-foot-6, 200-pound combo guard, Josh Richardson. Richardson worked out for the HEAT once prior to the draft in what was his first time ever in Miami. During that visit, he said that he also spoke with Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra for 30 minutes. While he was only at the AmericanAirlines Arena practice facility one time, he seems to already know what the HEAT culture is all about.
“I just know the way that the Miami HEAT like to play defense. They like to guard and get in to people. I think I kind of fit that mold,” Richardson said. “I think I can come in and give us some great defense and knock down some open shots.”
The former Volunteer’s defensive prowess is likely what first comes to mind when you look into his collegiate career, but that’s not all he can offer. In his senior season at the University of Tennessee, Richardson averaged career-highs in points, rebounds, assists and steals per game. His potential at the next level though is due to his still-developing frame, which enables him to lockdown his opposition and force turnovers. As a result, he averaged 2.1 steals per game his senior year.
“Josh [Richardson] was an All-Defensive team [player] two years in a row in the SEC and made the All-SEC team and Justise [Winslow] is a defender, so we got two guys that can really, on the perimeter, defend people and also two guys that can score,” Pat Riley said after the draft.
Much like Winslow, Richardson is an equally versatile player. Richardson played point guard his final year at Tennessee after primarily playing shooting guard his whole career. While his senior year was impressive, he’s quick to point out that he’s “a way better shooter” than he was in college and that his form is different. One of the critiques on the 21-year-old entering the draft was his outside shooting even though he connected on a career-best 35.9 percent of his three-point attempts his senior year while also attempting the most of his collegiate career (128).
“Over my four years of college, it’s [three-point shot] been a process, it hasn’t been easy at all, but after I graduated I definitely kept working on it, trying to take out the little tweaks and I think I can be a solid shooter at the NBA level,” Richardson said.
Richardson will have a chance to showcase what he can do in the Orlando Sumer League, which will begin on July 4. The HEAT will also participate in the Las Vegas Summer League starting on July 11. That gauntlet can be a grind for a lot of young players, but Richardson knows some people in the NBA and luckily they have given him some insight on what to expect.
“I have some friends that are in the NBA, so they’ve kind of told me about it now. How tough it is at first,” Richardson said. “I’ve just been trying to stay in the best shape that I can and that’s the only way I know how to prepare. That’s staying in the gym, staying in the weight room and keeping my conditioning right.”
With that kind of attitude, perhaps the young man from Oklahoma can blossom into the “3&D” guy that he has the potential to be.
HEAT Introduce Richardson (Part 1)
June 30, 2015
HEAT Introduce Richardson (Part 2)
June 30, 2015