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Heat’s Josh Richardson probable vs. Wizards

Josh Richardson

Miami Heat shooting guard Josh Richardson will play against the Washington Wizards on Friday night, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

It seems the Heat are still bent on keeping Richardson, despite the 25-year-old’s name constantly being brought up as a valuable piece of a potential Jimmy Butler trade.

The Minnesota Timberwolves appear to be zeroing in on the Heat as a trade partner for the disgruntled Butler. Tom Thibodeau and the rest of the Wolves’ front office have asked for the availability of Richardson, but the Heat have reportedly said the defensive ace is considered an untouchable in any deal.

A solid contributor in his first three years with the Heat, many believe Richardson is poised to have a breakout season. He was already inserted into the starting lineup last season, posting averages of 12.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.5 steals.

The Heat’s apparent unwillingness to let go of Richardson in exchange for Butler, a four-time All-Star, has been a point of contention. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald explains why the Heat has been saying no to the Wolves’ desire of acquiring Richardson:

The Heat and Wolves have been trying to structure a deal that would be palatable to both parties. The Heat has been reluctant to include Josh Richardson, preferring instead to have a Butler/Richardson tandem that would be among the league’s best for a small forward/shooting guard pairing.

A Butler-Richardson duo would indeed wreak havoc on opposing offenses, but it’s unclear if Minnesota would make a deal without Richardson involved.