Guard Josh Richardson, who impressed the Heat during summer league, agreed to a three-year, $2.5 million contract Tuesday with the Heat. He will assuredly be on Miami’s roster this season; Miami loves his upside as a defender and a combo guard.
Richardson will earn the rookie minimum $525,093 this season; that money is guaranteed. The second year of the contract, worth $874,636, is partially guaranteed. The third year is likely going to be a team option at $1.1 million, though the exact structuring of it was still being worked on.
The Heat conveyed to Richardson last week that it considers him an NBA player but needed to shed contracts to make room for him. Miami did that by trading Shabazz Napier and Zoran Dragic and cutting Henry Walker over the past three days. Richardson was drafted 40th overall in June but Miami rated him the 24th-best player on its draft board.
He averaged 11.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals in Summer League.
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Richardson gives the Heat 15 players under contract. Tyler Johnson’s deal will become partially guaranteed Saturday. James Ennis’ deal will become guaranteed only if he’s on the opening night roster. Otherwise, he makes nothing.
Ennis’ contract was supposed to become partially guaranteed Saturday but Ennis agreed to push that deadline back.
His agent, Scott Nichols, explained it thusly: “The decision was made because while we could have waited until August 1, James and I are traveling to Australia to do some basketball clinics and promotional work and we didn’t want to have this looming over our heads while we are here. Also for James he didn’t come to the Heat to just make the team and get a partial guarantee.
“He is fully confident like he was last year that he will come to training camp ready to make a bigger impact this year and help the Heat win. He expects not only to be on the Heat opening night but to be a big part of the rotation.
“Finally, instead of having two dates to worry about for his contract Aug. 1 and Dec. 1, now his only concern is training camp and coming in healthy and as an improved player to help the Heat win. As long as he does what he can control then everything else will take care of itself and his contract will be fine.”
Teams can carry 20 players through training camp but no more than 15 once the season starts. The Heat likely will fill out the training camp roster with non-guaranteed deals.