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What’s next for Josh Richardson?

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Richardson had an exceptional season and a great playoff showing, so where does he go from here?

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Heat are in a weird situation.

Let’s be honest, they’re probably not going to win the championship this season. Also, its contract situation isn’t great (actually it’s pretty awful). Fans are really hoping for one thing right now, and that’s for DWade to return for one more year.

Yep. This season of Miami Heat basketball might just be a nostalgia wave of gritty basketball. Still, that should be enough for the Heat to maybe make the second round of the playoffs, so at least things could be interesting.

In spite of the obvious negatives there are reasons to be excited for the future and one of those reasons is Josh Richardson. Richardson is on his way to becoming the clear number one option on this Heat team. There’s a good chance he pulls it off this season too.

After being snubbed for a place on the NBA All Defensive Team, Richardson should have a chip on his shoulder. Last season he was excellent defensively. According to SLAM with Richardson on the floor, Miami managed to hold opponents to 4.4 points fewer per 100 possessions.

Couper Moorhead of Heat.com explains Josh’s defensive prowess in detail:

Richardson’s skills aren’t limited to just defense, he’s also swiss army knife on offense. Long range threes, midrange game, ball handling and passing? It doesn’t matter. Richardson can do all with ease. Best of all he seems to bring in something new every season. Last year it was the scoop layup and I’m anxious to see what he’ll pull off in a few weeks.

In watching Richardson’s highlights it’s hard not be impressed by his basketball IQ. Whether it driving into contact, throwing up a floater or dishing it to the wing he always seems to know what to do.

Richardson has had some great mentors from past Heat squads including Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Goran Dragic, Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson so it’s hard not to see pieces of their game within his own. Still he manages to blend them in with his own unique style.

So what’s next for Richardson? It should be to embrace the “star” role that’s currently vacant on the Heat. This won’t be easy with self proclaimed “Alpha” Dion Waiters and Dwyane Wade returning.

The competition should make Richardson even better, but there’s little to no doubt that he’s the future face of this franchise. If Richardson is able to start the transition into Miami’s leader this season, then the future might be here sooner than we think.