I'll just start by putting it the only way I can think of right now.
Josh Richardson has the "IT" factor.
He's got it. There's something about him that's electric. There's something about his work ethic, his defense, and his ability to make a highlight play that his going to propel him to a level in the NBA few foresaw when they scouted the player that eventually went #40 in the 2015 NBA Draft to the Miami Heat.
He has the ability to bring you to your feet with his athleticism and ability to finish at the rim. Just take a peak here.
But he's more than just big plays like that. He has a chip on his shoulder. He felt snubbed at the All-Rookie team selections. And I believe he's going to be primed to have a breakout season for the Miami Heat.
1. He's going to be a major focus for the Heat summer program
Not only will Josh Richardson likely be a strong focus for the Miami Heat Summer League team while they participate in Orlando and Las Vegas, but he will be in the gym with Heat staff with a different focus. Last off-season, after the Draft, Richardson worked a lot of the Heat staff on his game.
But you know that it took a lot of time before that translated onto the court. It wasn't until the second half of the season that Richardson really started making a difference on the court. Now, the Heat know exactly what his strengths and weaknesses are on the court, and the program can be designed specifically for him to improve for the Heat.
Richardson excelled at his three-point shooting for a long time before coming back to the norm. His major area of focus this off-season should be ball handling. When he improves there, he's going to be a much better player.
2. He's going to get more playing time
It took extreme circumstances for him to see court last year. The Heat traded Mario Chalmers away and added Beno Udrih. Tyler Johnson went down with a regular season ending injury, and then Beno Udrih did as well. That's when Josh Richardson was pushed into the rotation, and he excelled. There were multiple nights where he played 35+ minutes off the bench.
This season, I believe he's going to be the primary back-up to Goran Dragic and not only that, but could be the primary back-up for Dwyane Wade. Tyler Johnson will be in that conversation as well, but Josh Richardson has done everything he needs to secure himself more minutes, and starting from the beginning. He's primed to have a great season.
3. He's going to continue to be overlooked
Teams might know this kid can shoot or he has hops. But he's not yet going to be a part of the active scouting report to stop the Miami Heat as long as Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic are on the roster. And if Hassan Whiteside and Chris Bosh are playing as well, Richardson becomes a distant afterthought. That only helps him.
It helps his game, his cause, his motivation. Everything. The more he is overlooked, I think the greater the chance is that he just breaks out on the NBA. I know I'm not presenting much of a statistical case or quote to portray what I am saying here. I am giving you my "gut feeling" that Josh Richardson is on the verge of something special.
When I say special, I mean he has the ability to be a double digit scorer off the bench for the Heat. But even more than that, he can change the game. His energy, his ability to bring you to your feet are invaluable things this team needs. He's going to be a major part of this team next year and will breakout to another level in 2016.