76ers

Meet Josh Richardson, the Sixers' young and talented new wing

Meet Josh Richardson, the Sixers' young and talented new wing

There are assuredly Sixers fans that will be disappointed to see Jimmy Butler go.

Butler was outstanding for the Sixers in the playoffs and helped lead the team to a Game 7 against the eventual NBA champion Raptors.

But the four-time All-Star is gone thanks to a sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat

Welcome, Josh Richardson.

The Sixers' newest wing is young, cheap and a pretty damn good player. He’ll turn 26 in September and he’ll make $10,116,576 in 2019-20 and $10,865,952 in 2020-21 with a player option at $11,615,328 for 2022. Since being drafted in the second round (40th overall) in the 2015 draft out of Tennessee, he’s been lauded for his defense but has steadily improved his offensive game.

From a defensive standpoint, you’re getting a player that’s emerged as one of the better wing defenders in the league. In a league where positionless basketball rules the day and long, switchable defenders are all the rage, Richardson is an ideal fit. You’ll remember the Sixers last season went to a more switch-heavy scheme with less-than-stellar results. Replacing JJ Redick, who signed with the New Orleans Pelicans, with a player like Richardson should help a whole lot. He’s also a maximum effort type of player who doesn’t take possessions off.

While defense has been his calling card since he got into the league, he’s developed more of his offensive game as the Heat’s roster has declined. He averaged career-highs in points (16.6), assists (4.1) and rebounds (3.6) per game while posting his highest usage rate (20.3) last season. The assists stand out most as Richardson was relied on more as a playmaker. His 1.5 turnovers a game is also a solid number considering his high usage rate.

The jumper has been inconsistent over his career, but there’s plenty of reason for optimism in that department. While his three-point percentage dipped from 37.8 to 35.7 this season, he also took over two more attempts a contest. It’s also worth noting that his free throw shooting has improved every season since he’s been in the league. He was at 86.1 percent last season, a number that borders on elite.

Think about how much more things will be opened up for Richardson, as well. With all due respect to retirement tour Dwyane Wade, Miami wasn’t littered with explosive offensive options. With players like Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris and Al Horford, Richardson will be surrounded by skilled playmakers and shot makers. That should take the pressure off of him while also creating space on the floor.

While the Sixers likely aren’t quite done, the starting five of Richardson, Embiid, Simmons, Harris and Horford is an awfully good start to free agency.

While Richardson can’t be expected to provide what Butler did, he could become a pivotal piece as the Sixers try to assert themselves among the East’s elite.

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Uh Oh: Stephen A. Smith is predicting HUGE things for Sixers this season

Uh Oh: Stephen A. Smith is predicting HUGE things for Sixers this season

Stephen A. Smith's track record of predicting things is suspect to say the least.

So it's with great trepidation that Philadelphia 76ers fans should watch the below clip in which he predicts an NBA Finals appearance for Brett Brown's club this coming season.

Smith made the prediction on ESPN's First Take on Friday morning while sitting alongside NBA legend Magic Johnson (the joke about tampering with Giannis may have been the highlight of the segment).

"The Philadelphia 76ers are going to the NBA Finals," Smith declares. "I'm going to defer to my man Jalen Rose when he points out that Boston arguably has the best perimeter shooting team. We can't ignore that. Toronto lost Kawhi, ain't nothing to discuss. The Greek Freak, as phenomenal as he is, the combo of not having a reliable perimeter shot combined with Malcolm Brogdon being in Indiana..."

"My attitude is, I don't like the fact that Philly lost JJ Redick, that's a big loss to me," Smith continues. "The fact that Boston no longer has Al Horford and the Sixers do, not only somebody to pair with Embiid but to spell him whenever he's out. I'm going to believe Ben Simmons has been working on his shot. I'm going to believe Tobias Harris doesn't have to worry about co-existing with Jimmy Butler and that's a plus. I'm going to believe Josh Richardson can play at both ends of the floor..."

"I'm a little suspect on their bench, but I think the Sixers are going to be playing in June."

On the bright side for Philly fans, it's not like Smith is making some bold proclamation here. FiveThirtyEight's prediction model actually gives the Sixers the best chances of making the Finals of any team in the NBA given the East's weaker make up than the West. In fact, they give the Sixers almost twice as good a chance of doing so than the next closest Eastern contender the Bucks (54% vs. 27%).

So Stephen A. isn't going out on a limb, but it never feels great when he picks your squad in anything.

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Sixers tease new red Statement jerseys that differ from last season's

76ers_red_statement_jersey.jpg
@ChrisHeck76

Sixers tease new red Statement jerseys that differ from last season's

The Sixers' Statement Edition jerseys last year were the red uniforms that said "Sixers" across the front in an interesting script. It appears those jerseys will be different for the 2019-2020 season.

Chris Heck, President of the Sixers and Mr. #OnBrand, tweeted out an image of the new jerseys that look quite similar to last season's but instead of "Sixers" across the front they have the familiar "Phila" in script.

Give it a look below:

The jerseys also have the familiar stars down the side of the jersey. The team hasn't made an official announcement just yet so it's unclear what other details may have changed from season to season.

This Statement Edition will join the two regular jerseys, Icon Edition (standard blue) and Association Edition (standard white), alongside the recently unveiled Classic Edition jerseys that feature a throwback to the 70s look with that very interesting "Seventy Sixers" across the front and Ben Simmons sitting in a dope old-school car.

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