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Heat news: Josh Richardson to be challenged by Justise Winslow, Rodney McGruder for starting spot

Josh Richardson

The Miami Heat are expecting shooting guard Josh Richardson to challenge Justise Winslow and Rodney McGruder for the starting small forward spot, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

Richardson was pegged the team’s starting shooting guard prior to the arrival of Dion Waiters last summer, but ultimately was displaced of his starter badge after repeated heroics from the Syracuse standout while he was injured.

At 6-foot-6, Richardson showed enough dynamism to play three different positions, while holding his own defensively against bigger opponents.

“Wherever coach Spo wants to take this positionless game, it can be real small, with him playing five on down to three point guards with Justise at four [or three bigs],” Heat president Pat Riley said this summer, acknowledging Richardson as a potential fit at the small forward. “However he feels, the whole concept of positionless has to do with the offense. Every player knows all of the positions.”

The only thing keeping Richardson from being a natural fit at the position is his frail frame at 200 pounds, thing which McGruder and Winslow have an edge on, with five and 25-pound advantages. Winslow nails the average heigh and weight of an NBA small forward at 6-foot-7 and 225 pounds, but lacks the now necessary shooting stroke from beyond the arc to make him the undisputed starter.