Although getting on in age these days (30, will be 31 in January) and not flying as high as he once did with the Warriors and Suns, Jason Richardson can still play the shooting guard and small forward positions capably on offense and defense. He’s just finishing up a 6-year, $70 million contract, and obviously now that he’s 30 and coming off his prime he should see fewer years and fewer dollars in his next deal.
The case for:
Huge is the fact that Richardson can capably fill minutes (as mentioned earlier) at both the shooting guard and small forward spots. Although he played a fair amount more at guard than at forward last season, with the Clipper we’d be looking for him to play back-up to Eric Gordon and play a lot of minutes at small forward (less Ryan Gomes, please). The Clippers were a bad 3-point shooting team last season, and having another guy on the floor that can spot-up consistently would be wonderful. Jason Richardson can and will do exactly that and otherwise let EJ and Blake do their thing, offensively. On defense, his opponent PER was good (around 13) for both the guard and small forward positions. Richardson has also been a good rebounder at the guard position throughout his career, although he dropped off to about average last season, so age might be catching up a bit there. The good news is that getting older might lead to a dropoff on defense/a bit of his rebounding ability, but his jump shot is probably going to hang around.
The case against:
Similar to the issues with Caron Butler that Charlie talked about, Richardson is leaving his prime and is of course going to demand a decent-sized contract. He has a desirable skillset and fits the bill as the type of guy highly competitive teams think can be the final piece to get them to the top-tier of teams. That means he might be more expensive for the Clippers than is worth it for the team, considering that the team needs to consider re-signing Blake and EJ in the future. And that’s not considering the impact on cap space the (likely) re-signing of DeAndre Jordan, or the need for cap space when looking to sign a max-contract superstar in the coming years.