Jason Richardson likes 76ers' chances

Posted: August 16, 2012

While 24-year-old Andrew Bynum wore sweatpants and a T-shirt during his introduction as a 76er on Wednesday at the National Constitution Center, 11-year veteran Jason Richardson struck a stark contrast.

The fifth overall pick in the 2001 draft, Richardson looked the part of a 31-year-old, nattily attired in a dark blue sports coat, sans tie, and slacks.

Richardson made it known that he intends to be anything but a throw-in player as part of the 12-player, four-team trade that brought Bynum and him to the Sixers last week.

"It's really a great opportunity for me at this point in my career to come to a team that is headed on the upswing," the former Orlando swingman said. "I'm looking forward to coming to Philly and contributing in a big way."

And the Sixers are looking forward to his contributions.

Richardson has three years at about $18 million remaining on his contract. On Wednesday, Sixers coach Doug Collins indicated that Richardson will play a key role - possibly as a starter.

"I think we look at Andrew, Jrue [Holiday], and Evan [Turner] as starters," Collins said. "Then you have to look at guys like Nick [Young], J-Rich [Richardson], and Dorell [Wright] as guys who will need to step up and replace a guy like Andre Iguodala. We lost some key contributors, and we're going to have to replace them. That's what training camp is for."

When Lou Williams opted out of his contract, the Sixers were left without their best scorer. Look for Richardson to pick up some of that slack.

Richardson has connected on 1,238 three-pointers since 2004. In that time, he is second in the league, trailing only Ray Allen (1,441). He is a career 17.5-point-per-game scorer.

"That's what I have done for my career - hit the three," Richardson said. "Coming here with Andrew is great, because he's a guy who is going to draw the double team down low. It's great having had the chance to play with Dwight [Howard]. In a sense, I'm looking at that as a training time to come here and play with another great center."

Richardson has started 794 of 805 games in his career. Over that time, he has averaged more than 34 minutes per game, so it is quite natural that he will expect to start in Philadelphia.

On Wednesday, though, it was not a point of concern.

"There is the potential to have something very good here," Richardson said. "You can feel the energy, and it makes you want to be a part of it."

Collins received a glowing recommendation for Richardson via text message early this week. Grant Hill, who played with Richardson in Phoenix, told Collins he was getting a quality person.

"Grant texted me, told me Jason was a great teammate," Collins said. "That's a great vote of confidence right there."


Contact John N. Mitchell at jmitchell@philly.com. Follow on Twitter @JmitchInquirer. Read his blog, "Deep Sixer," at philly.com.

 

|
|
|
|
|