Yahoo NBA writer, Marc J. Spears, has reported that the Hawks have signed shooting guard Jason Richardson to a non-guaranteed pact.
Correction: Jason Richardson will be signing his non-guaranteed deal with the Hawks on Monday, a source told Yahoo Sports.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) August 15, 2015
It is hard to believe Richardson is only 34 years old. One of the most explosive athletes to ever touch an NBA floor, Richardson will be entering his 15th NBA season with the Hawks.
The Hawks are still looking for wing help since the departure of Demarre Carroll in free agency. Richardson is another possible piece to the platoon of wing players that will be seeing Demarre Carroll’s minutes and trying to emulate his production. The two-time slam dunk champion has spent the last three seasons with the Philidelphis 76ers, but has only played in 52 games. Injuries riddled his time with the Sixers, but Richardson was a very nice player when healthy. He started in 48 games for the 76ers and averaged 10.0 points and 3.7 rebounds.
Richardson is far from the player he was when he was in his 20’s, but if he can remain healthy, this could be a great deal for the Hawks. He also brings a nice veteran presence for some of the younger guys like Justin Holiday and Tim Hardaway Jr. to learn from. It’s important to have a crafty vet on the team to serve as a mentor, much like Elton Brand has in the past two seasons. The deal is also non-guaranteed, so if Richardson cannot stay healthy, or is simply not the player he was after the bevy of injuries he has obtained, then he can be released with no strings attached.
Richardson is a shell of himself and isn’t a guy who is a crazy shot creator anymore, but if he can buy into the system and find ways to get open, his three point shooting ability and defensive skillset should be enough for him to play a decent amount of minutes. It’s a no-risk, medium reward signing for the Hawks, but still a great move given how open the small forward spot is right now.