Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel brought up an interesting question Tuesday – does Jason Richardson chase the most possible money or possibly take a discount in an attempt to win a title?
As a free agent, J-Rich has reached a critical point in his career: Does he sign with a team that can pay him the most money or take less to play with a contender?
Obviously, he would love to have the best of both worlds.
Schmitz brings up an interesting point and names several teams, including Chicago, Dallas, New York and Denver as potential landing spots for Richardson should he chase a ring.
Orlando would also be an attractive option as long as they have Dwight Howard.
Chicago is one team that makes some sense. Richardson would be an enormous offensive upgrade for the Bulls, a team that finished first in both defense and rebounding, and could perhaps mask Richardson’s weaknesses more than any other squad. However, Richardson can’t put the ball on the floor as well as he used and that’s something I think the Bulls would like. Of course, players like that aren’t exactly easy to find. Richardson is a veteran, who’s been deep in the playoffs and may fit in with a younger Bulls team better than someone like J.R. Smith or O.J. Mayo, who’s names have been heard in connection with Chicago.
As for Dallas, that’s difficult to envision unless Dallas decides to deal on of their current players or opts not to attempt to sign their free agents. Most think the Mavericks re-signing of Tyson Chandler is a foregone conclusion. Richardson would certainly be a nice fit in Dallas and the sign-and-trade Schmitz suggest is a viable option, but it appears very unlikely.
The Knicks could use a big-time three-point shoot to put the ball in the basket when Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire but Schmitz is correct when he says they’d be better served getting an at least somewhat legitimate, defensive-minded center. They also just drafted a guard – Iman Shumpert from Georgia Tech.
As for Denver, they’d probably rather keep their younger wings, Arron Afflalo and Wilson Chandler, who are restricted free agents. Had Denver never traded Anthony, it’d probably be a different story.
There are other teams who will probably get involved and the Magic should not be overlooked. Richardson has enjoyed his short stay in Orlando so far and the Magic clearly want Richardson back.
For more on Richardson’s free agency, I wrote about it about a month back. You can read that here.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN 1080′s Magic Insider (http://espn1080.com) and is the co-host of the ESPN1080.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).