The Dallas Mavericks are in need of playoff capable bodies, and with limited options, they can’t be picky. But that doesn’t mean they need to rehash old mistakes. Josh Richardson is an unrestricted free agent this summer, and though Dallas needs perimeter players who can put the ball on the floor and attack, Richardson isn’t the way to fix that.
Richardson finished last season with the New Orleans Pelicans after a midseason trade from the San Antonio Spurs. He averaged 10.1 points, 2.7 assists, and 1.1 steals per game over 65 games with both teams. He shot a bit better than he did with Dallas, hitting 36 percent of his 3-pointers on 4.5 attempts per game.
Richardson is an above average 3-point shooter and can use that threat to get to the basket when defenders close out too hard. He has some weaknesses on defense, but does have a knack for creating turnovers with his reach. Richardson can be relied upon to score with bench units and can get buckets when better players break the defense down first.
Though he is slightly above average on threes, Richardson’s shot can get a little streaky. And while he can get to the basket most nights, against better defenders he struggles to penetrates and has a tendency to dribble into bad midrange shots.
One of his biggest weaknesses is his lack of playmaking ability. Dallas would never be able to turn the offense over to Richardson when Luka Doncic is off the floor, which is something they sorely need. And while he is solid on defense, his slight frame can lead to offenses hunting him.
Fit with the Mavericks
We’ve already seen Richardson with the Mavericks, and it didn’t work out too well. He would be playing under a new coach in Jason Kidd, which might make a difference. But the issues on defense and the poor shot selection remain a problem. It’s possible Richardson has eliminated the poor shot diet from his game in the last two seasons, but it’s unlikely. Dallas doesn’t need role players taking poor shots when Doncic can create much better attempts by resetting the offense and attacking the defense again.
If Richardson can be brought on with a minimum contract, that’s worth considering. But he’s definitely not someone the Mavericks should be prioritizing this offseason.