ESPN continued their 2014 NBA Player Rankings with numbers 350-326, and the Sixers have another player in the lower tier of the rankings. Jason Richardson, who we might refer to as "Pops" this year, came in at 345th this year, down 55 spots from last year's ranking. ESPN also opted to include this anecdote from a fan in their ranking of the 13-year veteran.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNNBA">@ESPNNBA</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/jrich23">@jrich23</a> Has never averaged less than 10 points per game in a season, expect him to bounce back this season <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBArank?src=hash">#NBArank</a></p>— Justin (@JuMuJazz) <a href="https://twitter.com/JuMuJazz/status/512658057302523905">September 18, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Sure, he's not wrong, but Richardson also averaged 34.4 minutes a game over his career, and 28.4 minutes in the 33 games he's played with the Sixers. That's a fair amount of playing time for a player who can contribute, and also happens to be able bodied. Pops doesn't really fit that criteria anymore. He has been rehabbing a cartilage tear "the size of a quarter" on his right kneecap for 19 months now, and suffered a setback in March. According to his own Instagram, he just started shooting jump shots three weeks ago.
It's nice to see him back on the court in any form, and it seem he dropped a good portion of the extra weight he put on last year, but to think he'll be a big contributor this year might be ill-advised. He certainly won't be playing the big minutes he's used to, not only because there are younger guys on the roster who may have a future with the team, but because his skills are simply deteriorating rather rapidly.
ESPN may have been a bit generous placing him where they did, especially over guys like Houston's Troy Daniels and rookies James Young and T.J. Warren. The Sixers could definitely use Richardson if he's healthy, and could stay on the list next year if he is. I just don't think I would count on it.