J-Rich Returns To Practice; MCW Update; Deadline Day

by Max Rappaport
Sixers.com Writer
@MaxRappaport

It feels like a lifetime has passed since Jason Richardson last stepped on an NBA floor. It’s been 762 days, to be exact, but soon the 14-year-vet hopes to make his long-awaited return to action after sitting out since January 18, 2013 due to issues with his left knee.

On Wednesday, the two-time Slam Dunk champion was a full participant in practice for the first time in over two years. He is hoping to be cleared to suit up when the Sixers host the Indiana Pacers on Friday.

"Personally, as a competitor, I definitely want to play on Friday," Richardson told reporters. "It’s all up to how my knee responds. We’ll see how it is [Thursday]. I’ll go through another practice, and then see what the coaching staff and training staff have in mind."

The last time the 34-year-old Richardson played in an NBA game, he did so as a starter alongside Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young, and Lavoy Allen; none of the five reserves – Nick Young, Spencer Hawes, Damien Wilkins, Dorell Wright, and Royal Ivey – are with the team now, either.

For the league’s youngest team, Richardson is something sorely needed, a veteran. He’s the only player on the roster over 30, and the team is excited by the prospect of getting another experienced voice on the court.

"It’s good to have him back," said 28-year-old forward Luc Mbah a Moute. "It was good to have a veteran out there. It’s tough sometimes when I’m by myself out there. I try to get the guys to play the right way, and sometimes when I say some stuff they say, ‘Yeah Luc, we’ve heard you the whole season. 

“Jason has been good in the locker room and on the bench, but to have him on the floor will be really good for the team."

MCW Still On The Mend

Point guard Michael Carter-Williams has missed each of the Sixers’ last three games due to a strained right big toe. The injury forced him to miss the Rising Stars Challenge and the Skills Challenge at All-Star Weekend and kept him from suiting up in the team’s first practice back from the break on Wednesday.

Head coach Brett Brown told reporters that the reigning Rookie of the Year will be re-evaluated on Thursday.

Deadline Day Is Here

The NBA trade deadline is Thursday at 3pm (EST). Last year, 11 deals were made on deadline day, and four of those trades involved the Sixers.