Before the 76ers gathered for training camp, Brett Brown projected Josh Richardson would serve a special role on this team.
“I think Josh is almost the secret - as important as any - mortar. He just holds us together,” Brown said at his annual media luncheon.
One week and three official practices later, Richardson is already proving his coach's hunch right.
“He’s a really good all-around player. That’s going to help us out a whole lot,” Tobias Harris said Thursday at the team's training complex in Camden.
Ben Simmons has also liked what he's seen, calling Richardson “a nonstop communicator.”
While Richardson is making a good impression with his fellow projected starters, he’s also setting an example for some youngsters on the roster.
Take it from Zhaire Smith, the second-year Sixer whom Richardson has already started to take under his wing a bit.
“Especially from Josh Rich, because he’s a really good defensive player as well, I’m all ears for him," Smith said.
But with Richardson, it’s not just about defense. During his time in Miami, he showed his ability to leave his mark on offense, both as a scorer and creator.
“He can make a shot when the game asks him to. He’s got to be able to shoot when other players get attention,” Brown said.
With All-Star caliber talent surrounding him, Richardson figures to have those chances soon and often.
Richardson is already making himself part of the team’s connective tissue off the court as well, whether it’s spending time with Tobias Harris after practice, or sharing advice with fellow Oklahoma native Shake Milton.
A glue guy through and through.
“I’m kind of a guy that can morph into any role that I need to on any nightly basis to give us the best chance to win,” Richardson said.
With mortar like that, this Sixer squad is sure to have one strong foundation.