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Sixers’ Josh Richardson claims he’ll definitely be amped up to face the Heat next season

Philadelphia 76ers shooting guard Josh Richardson probably does not need much more motivation going into the 2019-20 NBA season. After all, he has a legitimate chance to win a title with the Sixers, who are expected to be a top team in the Eastern Conference.

But make no mistake; Richardson will be motivated to face his former team — the Miami Heat — when the two teams square off for the first time in November.

Richardson was selected by the Heat in the second round of the 2015 NBA Draft out of the University of Tennessee. He quickly became a major contributor for a Miami team that still managed to make numerous playoff appearances after the disbanding of their famed “Big 3.”

After averaging just over 20 minutes per game in his rookie season, Richardson became a starter in his second year in the league. By his third season, he was a rotational fixture, averaging close to 13 points in addition to 1.5 steals per game.

During the 2018-19 campaign, Richardson posted career high averages in points (16.6), assists (4.1) and rebounds (3.6) per game, though the Heat would come up just shy of making the playoffs.

When it became apparent that the writing was on the wall for Butler in Philadelphia, the Sixers saw an opportunity to execute a sign-and-trade with Miami, bringing the 25-year-old Richardson to Philly.

Richardson will need to be more efficient (he shot just over 41 percent from the field last season) on the offensive end, but he will also likely be one of the team’s most crucial individual defenders on the perimeter.