Monday, July 12, 2010
Updated: July 13, 6:07 PM ET
Magic add Richardson to roster
ESPN.com news services
ORLANDO, Fla. -- One of the first things Quentin Richardson did before signing with the Orlando Magic was call his friend and now former teammate Dwyane Wade.
First he wanted to say goodbye.
Then he let Wade know Miami's All-Star trio will have some in-state competition.
"He was definitely disappointed," Richardson said of Wade. "But he laughed and joked, 'The in-state rivalry is on.'"
Richardson wasn't swayed to take less money to be part of the Heat's tandem of Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Instead, he'll have a chance to wreck the South Beach party.
After a year with the Heat, Richardson joined the Magic on Tuesday with a three-year deal worth around $7.5 million. He said there is also a player option for a fourth year.
He already offered some friendly, parting shots to his former team.
"There's nothing to fear," Richardson said of Miami. "It's not like you're going into a fight and somebody could beat you up. It's a basketball game. You're going to compete. It's a game that we play for fun and you love to play. There's nothing to be afraid of."
Richardson's arrival has major implications for the rest of the Magic's roster.
He will have an opportunity to be the starting small forward, likely replacing Matt Barnes, who became a free agent after one year with Orlando.
Because the two play the same position -- Richardson a stronger outside shooter, Barnes a more aggressive defender -- it is unlikely that Barnes would return to the cash-strapped Magic. He was looking to capitalize on a multiyear contract after starting the majority of last season. Barnes is not a long-range threat like Richardson -- who shot 39 percent from 3-point range last season for Miami -- but was one of Orlando's best perimeter defenders.
Orlando, already over the luxury tax, has until Friday to decide to match a $19 million, three-year offer sheet Chicago made for restricted free agent J.J. Redick. All indications are that the Magic will retain Redick, the 11th overall pick in the 2006 draft who has developed into a key contributor off the bench -- and perhaps a future starter.
Magic general manager Otis Smith insists he hasn't made up his mind on Redick, conceding only that it might be more of a decision by owner Rich DeVos and team president Bob Vander Weide because of the financial implications. Teams have to pay a dollar for every dollar they are over the luxury tax.
"Our owners have done just about anything we've asked them to do at this point," Smith said. "They say no on some things, but it's primarily to push me in another direction. But, for the most part, they've opened their checkbooks to us and said, 'Do what you can do to get us over the hump.'"
They're hoping Richardson is another missing piece.
His style should fit seamlessly into the Magic's 3-point-happy system that surrounds All-Star center Dwight Howard with shooters. Orlando set an NBA record with 841 made 3-pointers last season.
Richardson shot 39 percent from beyond the arc last season, averaging 8.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game starting at small forward. He admits the chance to play for the Heat was intriguing, but the offer he wanted simply wasn't there.
After being one of the players with expiring contracts that allowed Miami to create the space for James & Co., he said watching the Heat instantly build a contender wasn't easy. All the more motivation, however, to beat them.
"I know when I go strap it up against them I'm not going to play them like they're the favorites. I'm going to play them like they're human beings, just like me," Richardson said. "I feel like we have just as good a chance as they do to win a championship."
Unlike their in-state competition, the Magic have had little wiggle room in free agency.
They're tied to bloating contracts and counting on continuity. They reached the NBA Finals two years ago, went to the Eastern Conference finals last season and continue to believe that putting shooters around Howard is the best formula for a championship.
Consider Richardson the latest piece.
"Our objective is to keep hitting singles, and this is another single," Smith said of Richardson. "I don't think you hit a home run until you get a title."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.