On Monday the Orlando Magic agreed to a multi-year deal with Quentin Richardson. The 30-year old Richardson is a 10-year veteran who played last season with the Miami Heat. Richardson spent his first four years with the Los Angeles Clippers, played in Phoenix for a year and then played four seasons in New York for the Knicks before joining the Heat in 2009.
Richardson played in 76 games for the Heat last year, starting 75, the second highest number of his career (He made 78 starts for the Phoenix Suns during the 2004-05 season).
After the jump, we’ll take a look at Richardson’s numbers and see what this signing means for the Magic.
Richardson is a guy who can put the ball in the basket. He has a career effective field goal percentage of 47.9% and a career 3-point percentage of 35.9%. Last year, Richardson shot a career-high 39.7% from beyond the arc. In Orlando, he should get even more open looks from beyond the arc and although Richardson shouldn’t be expected to duplicate last season’s performance, on a team like the Magic it wouldn’t be surprising if he did.
Richardson has a reputation as a bit of a chucker sometimes puts up several bad shots a game. And that’s at least partly true. Richardson has been an inefficient player at times but when he is playing for a playoff-quality team and his usage rate is down, he is a more efficient player. Just use last season as an example. Richardson, playing for the Miami Heat, who finished 5th in the Eastern Conference, took the least shots per game of his career since his rookie year and yet shot the highest he has from the field since the 2001-02 season.
Richardson wasn’t asked to do as much and took better shots with the Heat. In Orlando, there should be even less pressure on him to score and he should get more open shots.
Richardson is also an underrated rebounder. Last year Richardson grabbed 10.6% of available rebounds so it’s not a huge drop off from Barnes, who grabbed 12.3% of available rebounds. Barnes was Orlando’s second best rebounder last season and Richardson’s career total rebounding rate of 10.1% will go a long way towards making up those numbers.
Many Magic fans are wondering how the Magic will make up for the loss of Barnes on defense but the truth is Barnes defensive talents were a little overrated and a lot of that has to do with his on-the-court attitude with his battles with Kobe Bryant last season being the image that sticks out to most fans. Defense shouldn’t be much of a concern – Richardson is a more than adequate defender.
At first glance, many Magic fans may have asked why the Magic signed Richardson and if this spells the end of J.J. Redick.
The Magic did not sign Richardson to replace Redick. Otis Smith’s decision to bring Richardson in has to do with Matt Barnes apparently turning down an offer from the Magic that was reportedly worth the remainder of the mid-level exception, which is about $2.6 million.
As of right now Richardson looks like he will be Orlando’s starting small forward (but obviously a lot can change) and appears to be a good fit with the Magic.