Speaking after the Orlando Magic's second day of training camp, team President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith told the media he's close to re-signing shooting guard Jason Richardson; Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel was the first to tweet the news. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports the deal is worth $25 million over four seasons.
Smith acquired Richardson's expiring contract from the Phoenix Suns last December. He started each of his 55 regular-season appearances for Orlando, averaging 13.9 points, four rebounds, and two assists per game. He shot 43.3 percent from the field overall and 38.4 percent on three-pointers. Though a capable outside shooter, Richardson struggles to create his own shot and draw fouls. Further, his shooting percentages, scoring, and rebounding declined after coming to Orlando despite his playing three more minutes per game on average.
Richardson comes at a relative bargain price, but wing players do not tend to age well, and committing to the former high-flyer through age 35 seems risky. Nonetheless, Orlando felt confident enough about his chances of staying productive that it penciled Richardson in as its starting shooting guard once again, keeping J.J. Redick in his sixth-man role.
In June, Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com urged NBA teams to exercise caution in overpaying Richardson. "Seventy-two percent of players with a similarity score of 95 or higher to Richardson [...] declined the following season," he says. "On average, their overall performance dropped off by nearly 10 percent." Richardson fired back via Twitter days later: "Who the hell is Kevin Pelton?"