Tampering Week: Jason Richardson

After a 24-58 season, the New Jersey Nets will have to make some changes heading into 2012. This week, Nets are Scorching takes a closer look at some soon-to-be-available names .

2010-2011 Stats: 15.6 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.8 APG, 44.7 FG %, 39.5 3P%, 73.0 FT%, 1.2 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 1.2 TPG, 15.02 PER

Why Billy King Should Be Texting Him Right Now: Jason Richardson is a great long distance shooter, and is great when a team wants to run a catch and shoot. If the Nets start to play a fast-paced style with Deron Williams, Richardson would get tons of open looks and might be able to drop 20 consistently. He would be the scoring wingman that the team needs. “J-Rich” can play small forward as well, which would give the Nets the ability to sit Travis Outlaw for extended periods of time, and that’s always a good thing. As added bonuses, Richardson is an above average rebounder and is capable of posting up in transition. He’s also an efficient finisher as he converted 68% of shots at the rim this season.

Don’t Risk the Fine: The major problem with Richardson is that he’s thirty years old. The Nets don’t want to lock J-Rich into a major deal and risk overpaying for a declining player. The evidence that Richardson has been declining is there; he had his lowest PER over his entire career this season. He’s a very inconsistent player, as shown by his huge fluctuations in production over the months of October and November. Richardson’s also a suspect defender; he’s athletic but has lost any lateral movement on D. It’s unlikely that Avery Johnson uses a style that would fit Richardson’s game, which is fast paced offense with little defense. His good three point shooting also looks to be an aberration as he shot well under 40% from 10-15 feet and from 16-23 feet.

And the Winner is….Avoid: Richardson looked like an extremely valuable player during his time with Phoenix. However, his production took a severe hit after he was traded to Orlando; a team that the Nets are similar to. It’s clear that J-Rich is not an answer to the Nets’ problems. One can only hope that Billy King and his staff don’t panic and overpay the former Michigan State standout and instead get a very talented teammate of his.