Josh Richardson declares he’s one of the best 2-way players in the NBA
Josh Richardson is bound to give the Philadelphia 76ers another layer of depth, replacing a pure shooter in J.J. Redick for a true three-and-D star in the making. The 6-foot-6 guard was part of the sign-and-trade deal that sent Jimmy Butler to the Miami Heat, now poising the young wing to prove his worth as one of the best two-way players in the league.
J-Rich isn’t one for quotes of lofty preseason aspiration, but he has the self-belief that he is among the best players that can show their mettle at either end of the floor.
“I’m not super vocal about it. I’m not like, crying out to be an All-Star, to be All-Defense or nothing like that. But in my head, I’m already at the top of the list on all those things,” Richardson told Michael Lee of The Athletic. “I think I’m one of the best two-way players in the NBA. That’s just me. That’s my thought. I think any player should feel like they’re one of the best, though. Have that confidence level.”
The 26-year-old carved his way into the league by his reputation of being a long and lanky defensive hawk, getting his hands in passing lanes and haunting players in the perimeter.
Not many are expecting Richardson to replace Redick’s elite-level production from the great beyond, but the Sixers are glad to have a man that will gladly take on the opposition’s best player.
“He plays with a charisma. He plays with a personality. He’s got a bounce,” said Sixers coach Brett Brown, comparing Richardson’s slitheriy defense to that of former stalwarts Bruce Bowen and Gary Payton. ”I said it before, I’ll say it again, ‘Philadelphia’s going to love him.’ They really are. He is so built for Philly. He plays hard. He’s got no back-down. He’s got swagger. I just think he’s just a really important piece to what we’re doing.”
If Richardson can produce Bowen of Glove-like efficiency at that end of the floor, it would be a major upgrade for a team that badly struggled to get stops down the stretch, now enjoying a whole new layer of impact play.