In an effort to get more athletic with a stronger defensive presence, the Mavericks on Wednesday night traded for versatile Philadelphia guard Josh Richardson.
To pull off the deal, the Mavericks sent sharpshooter Seth Curry to the 76ers. They also will receive the No. 36 overall pick in the draft – Colorado small forward Tyler Bey – as part of the swap.
Richardson, 27, is a 6-5, 200-pound swingman who specializes in athleticism, defense and, while not to Curry’s level, also has a good 3-point shot. He has been a starter for most of his five-year NBA career and has been in the playoffs in three of his five seasons in the league. He originally was drafted in the second round (40th overall) out of Tennessee in 2015.
“Josh Richardson, who we’re really excited about (is an) electric, young, defensive-minded two (shooting guard) that can play some three (small forward). And we think he’s going to be a really nice addition,” president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said.
Last season, he averaged 13.7 points for the Sixers in 55 games (53 starts). In 2018-19, he averaged 16.6 points, 4.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 73 games for Miami. He shot 35.7 percent from 3-point range that season.
The move to acquire Richardson, which became official after the draft, also should make the upcoming free-agency period, which begins Friday afternoon, slightly less stressful. But Nelson also made it clear that the roster moves will continue.
“I think this is a really good fit all the way around,” Nelson said of Richardson. “It’s really the player we thought was the best fit. But there are flexibility pieces as well. I think it takes a little bit of the pressure off with free agency. But that being said, we’re not done yet. We want to get this team better on both sides of the ball.”
The Mavericks will find out Thursday whether swingman Tim Hardaway Jr. and big man Willie Cauley-Stein elect to opt in to the final year of their respective contracts.
Richardson was traded from the Heat to the Sixers before last season as part of the Jimmy Butler deal.
Curry, 30, was in his second tour of duty with the Mavericks and is coming off the best-shooting season of his career. He hit 45.2 percent of his 3-point shots last season while averaging 12.4 points. The 6-2 Curry started 25 of his 64 games and averaged 24.6 minutes per game.
At Philadelphia, he will be playing for new Sixers’ coach Doc Rivers, who also happens to be his father-in-law.
“It’s always tough to say goodbye to close family and friends,” Nelson said. “And Seth and Callie were that. The Curry family has been close to the Nelson family for a long time. Really, really sad to see Seth go. And Callie as well. It’s a chance for them to get reunited with Doc and we wish them nothing but the best.”