With Richardson Trade, C's Add More Proven Versatility at Both Ends
The Boston Celtics announced Saturday that they have acquired guard Josh Richardson from the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Moses Brown.
It is a shrewd move by new President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens to acquire Richardson, a proven impact player on multiple winning teams, at such a low cost.
Richardson is a well-regarded player who has filled a key role on four separate playoff teams. Just two summers ago, he was the key acquisition for the Philadelphia 76ers in their deal to sign-and-trade Jimmy Butler to the Miami Heat.
Richardson has long been known around the league as a long, versatile and effective defender who is also a quality shooter. He has earned All-Defensive votes during two of the last four seasons and is a career 35.8 percent shooter from 3-point range and an 83.2 percent shooter from the free-throw line.
His addition adds length and versatility to a group of perimeter defenders that already features All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, as well as two-time All-Defensive First Team member Marcus Smart. That’s four experienced veterans who can defend multiple positions on the perimeter, and that doesn't even account for young players such as Romeo Langford and Aaron Nesmith. Richardson is listed at 6-foot-5 and owns a 6-foot-10 wingspan, which has helped him to average 1.3 steals per 36 minutes throughout his career.
Richardson will also provide the Celtics with another scoring threat alongside Tatum and Brown. The 27-year-old has averaged at least 10.2 points per game during each of the last five seasons, including a career-high average of 16.6 PPG during the 2018-19 season with the Miami Heat. His career true-shooting percentage of 53.6 percent is not far off from Tatum’s (56.9 percent) or Brown’s (56.8 percent).
Additionally, Richardson has proven himself to be capable of making plays with the ball in his hands. During the strongest season of his career, back in 2018-19 with the Heat, Miami oftentimes leaned on Richardson to initiate offense for the team. He in turn averaged a career-best 4.1 assists per game. Richardson has averaged at least 2.6 APG during each of the last five seasons.
The acquisition of Richardson certainly won’t be Stevens’ last as he continues to remake Boston’s roster for this upcoming season. He has now traded for Richardson and Al Horford, and drafted French guard Juhann Begarin all in the last six weeks.
With the new league year and free agency set to begin Tuesday, Aug. 3, there very well could be more moves coming down the pike for Stevens and the Celtics.