The Orlando Magic have agreed to sign Miami Heat free-agent forward Quentin Richardson "to a multi-year contract," reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, via Twitter. Richardson, who turned 30 in April, is a 10-year veteran with career averages of 11.2 points, 5.0 boards, and 35.9% three-point shooting, including a career-best 39.7% mark last season. He gives the Magic depth at both wing positions, joining Vince Carter and Mickael Pietrus, and figures to start at small forward.
Though contract terms are not yet known, Richardson should give the Magic production comparable to that of Matt Barnes last season, which is appropriate, as his signing almost assuredly ends Barnes' one-year stay with the Magic. Barnes is an unrestricted free agent and figures to make more than the $1.6 million he earned last season. After signing Chris Duhon, the Magic didn't have enough financial resources to keep Barnes at a price acceptable to him. This comparison of Barnes and Richardson shows how similar they are, especially with regard to rebounding; for his size, Richardson is excellent in that area. The key difference is that Richardson takes far more three-pointers than Barnes, and at a much higher percentage.
UPDATE (this paragraph only): John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com reports that Richardson's deal is worth the remainder of the mid-level exception. He also says the Magic gave Barnes the same offer before contracting Richardson, but that Barnes declined it.
Richardson's strength figures to make him a plus defender in the Magic's defensive scheme.
Richardson made headlines in the postseason when he tussled with Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett after Garnett's teammate Paul Pierce collapsed to the floor in front of the Heat's bench. Garnett's role in the fight earned him a one-game suspension. After the game, he referred to Garnett and Pierce as "two actresses." Boston is arguably the Magic's biggest rival, which means the games between those teams in the coming season should be even more physical, contentious, and heated.
Wojnarowski speculates that signing Richardson makes the Magic "less likely" to match the Chicago Bulls' offer sheet to restricted free agent J.J. Redick, but I don't agree. This move addresses the Magic's small forward position, and should not have any bearing on Redick's situation.
Regardless of what happens with Redick, the Magic have already filled their need for a backup point guard and a starting small forward. Next on their list? A third-string point guard, and probably another wing player, even if Redick returns.