Busy day just got busier. After dealing Tristan Thompson in a three-way deal for Kris Dunn, President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens wasn’t ready for the weekend just yet. Per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Celtics are acquiring the Mavericks’ Josh Richardson.
Richardson had a $11.6 million player option for next season that he’ll pick up in order to in effect join Boston for the 2021-2022 season. As CelticsBlog’s Keith Smith points out, the timing of the deal is important: because the deal is being completed before the official start of next year, Richardson’s salary will fit into the remainder of the Gordon Hayward traded player exception.
According to The Athletic’s John Hollinger, the Celtics’ dealings today could signal a “Plan B” in terms of re-signing Evan Fournier. There have been several reports that a new deal for the Celtics free agent could hover around the $14-16 million range, but any higher than that could price him out of Boston.
For the last two seasons, Richardson has been someone of a round peg in a square hole in Philadelphia and Dallas. As a ball-handling guard in Miami, Richardson flourished with the Heat with some playmaking responsibility and was always a plus-defender at 6’5”. He could immediately slot in as a starter next to Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum and keep Marcus Smart in his “sixth starter” role or come off the bench as a veteran presence on the wing.