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Jason Richardson, Also A Sixer, And Who He Is These Days


The Sixers received two - yes, two! - players in the Dwight Howard trade. We've already blown our Andrew Bynum load, but there's something to be said for the second man in the deal, Jason Richardson, as well. He's tailed off in recent years from being a 2nd or 3rd option on a team, but it's important to remember he's just 31 and there could be more in the tank than people are giving him credit.

Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post pointed us in the direction of his end-of-year Orlando Magic evaluation for J-Rich, which can be found here. While no one will deny he's not the guy he used to be, we can take a few bits out of Dunlap's article to push optimism his way. Optimism for all!

He's simply not a fit in Orlando's scheme, which minimizes running opportunities--despite his age, he's a solid transition player--in favor of post-ups and pick-and-roll work. [...] In short, Richardson is limited offensively. As a stand-still shooter and fourth option, he'd be OK; that's the role he's best suited for. But this isn't a guy you want to be your most lethal option on the wing. Orlando's problem is that it has, in Richardson and fellow starting wing Hedo Turkoglu, two guys being asked to shoulder a bit too much of the load.

The Sixers should do a few things that will make him useful. One, run the fast break. Two, keep him as the 4th or 5th option on the court at all times. And three, not ever ask him to seriously handle the ball. One of Jrue Holiday or Evan Turner will almost always be on the court, and when they're not, it'll be Nick Young dribbling the air out of the ball. J-Rich is going to be lucky to get five dribbles a game.

So while he's not an exemplary defender or as athletic as he once was, he's not a liability and he could certainly provide useful to the Sixers when Bynum looks to kick out of a double team. The contract (ostensibly 3 years, ~16M) isn't horrible in the current market. I'd rather the team start Dorell Wright next to Turner, but don't sleep on J-Rich in whatever role Doug Collins uses him in.

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