A Terrence Jones and Josh Richardson trade benefits both teams. The Miami Heat get a proven forward in their run for a playoff spot, while the New Orleans Pelicans clear up their logjam in the front court, with the acquisition of DeMarcus Cousins, by adding a shooting guard. Richardson (24) and Jones (25) are a year apart in age.
While Richardson seems a keeper, his contract expires after next season when he becomes a restricted free agent. Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow are tied up for four years, but Richardson can walk sooner if he gets a better offer. Rodney McGruder’s commitment to the team is a year longer than Richardson’s.
Terrence Jones isn’t a whale, yet he may make Miami a playoff contender this season with his tenacious defense.
Getting past the first round would be a miracle for the team, but with numerous expiring contracts and looming huge available cap space this summer, the trade would provide some clarity on how to proceed going forward.
Jones isn’t a 3-point threat, yet he has a PER of 16.32 as shown by his court vision and highlight hops.
At 25 years old he fits the Miami Heat mold of getting players in their prime years. The question remains if he has the Heat DNA. With James Johnson, Okaro White and Terrence Jones, the team would have a formidable and athletic front court built to defend in the Miami Heat tradition.
Jones gives a clean slate for the Heat this summer to restructure the team. With a first-round draft and playoffs finish, Miami could be a contender for next season by adding a quality piece. Going for a whale, like Kevin Durant last year, can be an unacceptable risk.
All-Star starters Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, James Harden never won the ultimate prize. Nor did Eastern Conference reserves Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Kyle Lowry, Paul Millsap, Isaiah Thomas, Kemba Walker, John Wall ever hoist the trophy. Being an All-Star doesn’t bring a ring to a franchise (hint to Hassan on maximum effort).
Pat Riley could have enough cap space to bring back Dion Waiters, James Johnson and add a missing piece should they decide to forgo max money in their quest to win a championship. Winning is always fun and profitable (Warriors raise ticket prices).