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Josh Richardson eligible for $42 million contract extension. Should the Heat bite?

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On August 3, the Miami Heat could give Josh a contract extension, or let him become a restricted free agent.

Miami Heat Media Day Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Starting August 3, 2017 the Miami Heat have an important decision to make.

With the signings of Dion Waiters, Kelly Olynyk, and James Johnson Miami is locked into seven contracts for 3 years or more. We know Tyler Johnson’s contract pops up by $13 million, to $18 million, next season.

If the Heat give Josh Richardson a $42 million extension over 4 years, his salary will jump up from $1.4 million, to over $10 million per year, over the life of the deal. If Miami lets the extension slide, JRich becomes a restricted free agent next summer, getting whatever the market bears. A TJ-type battle seems likely, yet again.

The price for that luxury will be paying TJ and JR a combined extra $22 million over the next two seasons. Put another way, TJ’s $19 million plus JR’s $10 million, adds up to a total of $29 million in the each of the next two seasons to keep both, or just under the cost of one player on the level of Gordon Hayward. Something to ponder.

With Tyler and Josh on the team, the security of a young nucleus in their prime for 3 or more years gives the team a stability to become special over time. Not suffering the growing pains from last year to figure what works was a factor in bringing back most of the band this time around.

Both players have a loyal fan base in South Beach, who would love to see them succeed here. The drafting of Bam Adabayo complicates matters, because he also looks like a keeper over the long term. If we include Justise Winslow, who gets the precious minutes during a 48-minute game? I don’t envy the tough decisions Erik Spoelsta has to make regarding playing time, or even personnel for that matter.

Because of the CBA salary cap rules, an extremely difficult decision looms ahead for the services of beloved JRich starting August 3. What would you do?