DALLAS - After a disappointing season with the Dallas Mavericks, Josh Richardson's tenure with the team has come to an end.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Richardson has chosen to exercise his final-year player-option worth $11.6 million and will be traded to the Boston Celtics.
ESPN's Bobby Marks reported the trade will be finalized on Saturday and the Celtics will be using their $11 million trade exception in order to acquire Richardson. Dallas will create an $10.9 million trade exception as a result.
During the 2020-21 season, Josh Richardson provided the Mavericks with averages of 12.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists. He converted at a clip of 42.7 percent from the field and 33 percent from beyond the arc.
Richardson's production fell off drastically during the playoffs as he averaged just 4.9 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 0.7 assists in 13.4 minutes per game. He played just 6:04 in Game 7 of the series in what would be his last game as a member of the Mavericks.
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The draft night trade the Mavericks completed last offseason to land Richardson in exchange for Seth Curry has proven to be a significant miscalculation. Curry averaged an impressive 18.8 points during the 2021 playoffs for the Philadelphia 76ers.
It's been widely reported that Dallas is prioritizing a pursuit of Kyle Lowry as its "Plan A" in free agency. Moving on from Richardson's contract after opting into his $11.6 million player-option before free agency begins makes it easier for the Mavericks.
The Mavericks plan to bring back Tim Hardaway Jr. by re-signing him in free agency, too. If Dallas proves to be successful in doing so, the team can embrace him as a full-time starter and see if he can build off his impressive playoff performance.
There had already been significant talks between the Mavericks and teams around the league in regards to a potential Richardson trade prior to his decision to exercise his player-option. It was just a matter of finding a team willing to take on his unfavorable contract.
The Celtics could be concerned about their chances of bringing back Evan Fournier in free agency, or simply about the asking price he may have for his next contract. Landing Richardson brings a veteran stopgap option at the shooting guard position.