Just when you thought the offseason was going to slow down, Brad Stevens keeps doing work. If former President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge was “Trader Danny,” Stevens should be nicknamed “Extension Stevens.”
After signing Marcus Smart and Robert Williams to four-year, $77 million and $54 million extensions respectively, Stevens has inked recently acquired Josh Richardson to a one-year extension through 2022-2023. Richardson was previously absorbed into the remainder of the Gordon Hayward traded player exception in July after he opted in to his 2021-2022 player option with the Dallas Mavericks.
His addition was widely considered an insurance policy in case the Celtics didn’t re-sign Evan Fournier. With Fournier now in New York, Richardson slots in as an important veteran wing on the depth chart. Per The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Richardson will make $24 million over the next two seasons.
There could be multiple motivations in extending Richardson this early without him ever donning a Celtics jersey. If he returns to form after two inconsistent seasons in Philadelphia and Dallas, locking him up at roughly $12 million per season is a steal. In his final season with the Heat, he averaged over 16 points and four assists as a two-way guard.
Off the floor, Richardson’s contract could also have major implications to the Celtics’ future. With him on the books for next next season and Al Horford’s final year only guaranteed for $14.5 million, Boston could be players if a superstar becomes available via sign-and-trade without including the newly signed Smart and/or Williams.