SG – 6’4, 200lbs – Born 5th January 1996
Richardson was picked up by the Charge at the end of the G-League season, with not even enough time to appear in a single game. He had spent the majority of the year in the NBA, beginning with the NBA champion Toronto Raptors (who had traded the expiring salary of Bruno Caboclo for him at the deadline in 2017-18 just to then not play him; by the way, it feels weird to be calling the Raptors that), but never appearing in the rotation. The fact that the Raptors sought to constantly upgrade their wing depth in the forms of Pat McCaw and Jodie Meeks was a bit of a damning indictment of Richardson; he was salary dumped onto the Philadelphia 76ers at the deadline, immediately waived, and thus now is looking at having to fight his way back in from the G-League.
Can he do it? Only if his defence gets better. Richardson is not as quick as many of the candidates for the coveted three-and-D role that are around not only in the G-League, but also in this year’s draft class. He was drafted in the first round in the belief that he would be able to go on to fill this role at the NBA level, yet he has now been passed over not only by the team that drafted him, but the team that got him for absolutely nothing. Within three years, he has been rejected by three NBA teams, and the supposed three-and-D shooter does not have a legacy of being either.
The G-League is quite a good option for those looking to reclaim their career in such a way. After all, Danuel House did it just this season. If you want to go further back, Danny Green once went into the then-D-League player pool, and back even further ago, Bobby Simmons also had to go backwards in this way to go forwards, eventually winning the NBA Most Improved Player Award. But they both had better athleticism and thus better potential. Malachi Richardson is still young, yet that alone does not convey NBA potential.
– 20th June, 2019
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