Josh Richardson, Mavericks Reportedly Not Exploring New Contract Ahead of Season

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2020

Dallas Mavericks' Josh Richardson advances the ball up court during an NBA preseason basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Dallas, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Josh Richardson's time with the Dallas Mavericks may not last long.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the guard is set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2020-21 campaign. Although the Mavericks acquired him from the Philadelphia 76ers on the night of the 2020 NBA draft, they are reportedly not working on a contract extension as of Monday.

However, as Stein noted, the two sides did not have to reach an agreement by Monday:

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine

Dallas’ Josh Richardson, which Bobby was too polite to say, is similar to those below. 6 PM deadline did NOT apply; he has all season to talk extensions Crux of earlier Richardson tweet stands: The plan, as of Opening Night, is to opt for unrestricted free agency at season’s end https://t.co/pcplZvp62v

The Mavericks sent Seth Curry to the 76ers for Richardson and the No. 36 pick in the 2020 NBA draft, which they used to select Colorado forward Tyler Bey.

While Curry gives Philadelphia much-needed shooting on the perimeter, Richardson should provide quality wing defense for the Mavericks as they look to compete in the Western Conference. Opponents shot 2.7 percentage points below their normal averages when he defended them last season, per NBA.com.

Richardson's 6'5" frame and 6'10" wingspan helps him bother shooters, and his athleticism allows him to keep up with ball-handlers on the perimeter. That type of skill set will free up Luka Doncic, since he will not have as much defensive responsibility with Richardson routinely picking up the opponent's best guards.

Richardson does more than just defend, though. He averaged 13.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game last season with the Sixers while shooting 34.1 percent from deep. Although he struggled with his shot a bit last year, Richardson is a career 36.3 percent shooter from three-point range and is capable of taking advantage of the space that he'll have while playing alongside Doncic.

The Mavericks can only offer Richardson 120 percent of his current salary as the starting salary of an extension, which likely isn't enough to interest him at this juncture. 

The 27-year-old Richardson may have an eye on a potentially more lucrative deal next offseason either with the Mavericks or elsewhere, especially if he thrives next to Doncic in Dallas.