2009-2010 Free Agent Evaluation: Quentin Richardson | Magic Basketball



Jul 13

2009-2010 Free Agent Evaluation: Quentin Richardson


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Synergy-fueled player evaluations, with the help of other metrics, are always fun.

Today, Quentin Richardson.

2009-2010 regular season Quentin Richardson
Games Played 76
Minutes Played 27.4
adj. +/- +3.30
net +/- +6.0
statistical +/- +1.82
PER 12.9
WARP 1.4
Win Shares/48 .133

After exploring his options for a few weeks, general manager Otis Smith effectively shut the door on the short-lived Matt Barnes era by signing Quentin Richardson to a multi-year contract. Barnes’ departure may bum out some Magic fans that appreciated the toughness and consistent energy he provided on a nightly basis, but players like him are a dime a dozen in the NBA and Smith was able to replace him with relative ease. Rather than give Barnes a raise, Smith chose an alternative option and went with Richardson in free agency.

Considering the type of player that Richardson is, there’s no question that Smith knocked it out of the park with this signing. Richardson is someone that the Magic need and his arrival bodes well moving forward. There’s a lot to like about Richardson, whether it’s his physical defensive nature or his ability to shoot threes with his eyes closed. Although his defense isn’t renowned, Richardson is another “three-and-D” player that Orlando values and needs, given that the Heat have upped the ante by pairing Dwyane Wade with LeBron James on the perimeter. Richardson won’t stop them, by any means, but he can be a stronger defender on the wings for what it’s worth. Aside from Mickael Pietrus this year, the Magic didn’t have much of that defensively this season.

Some might praise Barnes’ toughness and it was an asset, at times. But Barnes’ slim frame got him in trouble against the likes of Paul Pierce and other physical scorers that could cause problems with their strength. Again, Richardson is not a world-class defender but he’s 6’6” and has a muscular physique. In head coach Stan Van Gundy‘s defensive schemes, Richardson should be able to help slow down opposing scorers for Orlando.

Ultimately, there’s no question that the Magic have upgraded on offense. Richardson is a perfect fit offensively with Orlando, and a superior shooter than Barnes (his lack of three-point shooting ultimately caused problems in the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics). Going off from their stats this season, the Magic replaced their worst three-point marksman with a third 40 percent shooter in Richardson. That’s an upgrade, ladies and gentlemen.

Via Synergy Sports Technology:

2009-2010 regular season Time Poss. PPP* Rank Rating
OVERALL OFFENSE 100% 649 1.05 89% Excellent
Spot-Up 55.6% 361 1.15 89% Excellent
Transition 11.1% 72 0.96 18% Below Average
Post-Up 8.5% 55 1.00 86% Excellent
Isolation 5.9% 38 0.50 4% Poor

.572 .558 10.6 7.0 9.5 14.8 114

Richardson is efficient for two reasons: he shoots threes and takes care of the ball.

And with a team that demands three-point shooting from their perimeter players, Richardson is going to feel at home. In fact, Richardson immediately steps in and becomes one of the Magic’s best shooters on the roster. Richardson may not achieve a career-high with his three-point percentage next year. Yet given that he’s going to be on the most talented team offensively since his one-year stint with the Phoenix Suns in 2005, Richardson should have a field day since he’ll be able to camp out on the perimeter and catch drive-and-kick passes from Jameer Nelson or kick-outs from Dwight Howard. In Orlando’s 4-out/1-in offensive system, so much of the offense is reliant on a shooter’s ability to make shots. Barnes’ issue was that he couldn’t do it consistently. Richardson won’t have the same problem, as long as he stays healthy and keeps his weight down.

Because of his size, Richardson also has the underrated ability to post up on smaller guards when necessary. it’s doubtful that the Magic will utilize Richardson a lot on the low block. However, the possibility is there for Orlando to run 1/2 or 1/3 pick and rolls with Richardson, depending on his position, and allow him to play with his back to the basket. The Magic did the same thing with Vince Carter as the season wore on — installing side pick and rolls to make use of his post-up ability — and it would be judicious for Van Gundy to execute a similar strategy with Richardson. It doesn’t need to happen all the time, but it’d be foolish not to use that advantage if need be. There’s so much to like about Richardson, simply for the fact that he’s going to be a good fit with Orlando. Richardson likes to shoot threes, and the Magic like to have three-point shooters.

It makes no difference if Richardson is guarded or unguarded in catch-and-shoot situations, by the way, because he can fill it up regardless.

It’s clear that this is a perfect marriage of team and player.

Via Synergy Sports Technology:

2009-2010 regular season Time Poss. PPP* Rank Rating
OVERALL DEFENSE 100% 705 0.94 27% Below Average
Spot-Up 34.8% 245 1.16 10% Poor
Isolation 27.1% 191 0.84 53% Good
P&R Ball Handler 14% 99 0.82 49% Average
Off Screen 8.2% 58 0.81 65% Very Good

net def. +/- dMULT opp. PER TRB% STL% BLK%
+0.66 1.000 15.8 (vs. SF’s) 10.6 1.8 0.7

As has been mentioned before, Richardson isn’t that good of a defender but with Howard as the anchor defensively, he should be okay.

The main issues for Richardson is that he has specific weaknesses, depending on the position that he plays. Against shooting guards, Richardson has trouble sometimes staying in front of quicker players, given that he’s a bigger guard and doesn’t have the lateral quickness to stay in front of them consistently. Against small forwards, Richardson has trouble closing out on shooters because of his height. Given that Richardson spent most of his time at small forward this season playing alongside Dwyane Wade, it begins to make sense that Richardson struggled to defend in spot-up shooting situations. At small forward, Richardson is undersized for his position and players can shoot over him. Richardson can’t use his strength as much, either. In almost all other defensive situations, Richardson is adequate.

Theoretically speaking, to maximize Richardson’s strengths on defense, it’d be more apt to start and/or play him a majority of the time at shooting guard. Orlando is better off dealing with Richardson’s issue of not keeping players in front of him, because they have the ultimate help defender in Howard to deter anyone from coming into the paint. The Magic, however, can’t afford for shooters to have a field day on the perimeter because Richardson isn’t able to close out on them. It’s a major reason why Pierce was able to devastate Orlando in the Eastern Conference Finals, despite Howard’s presence in the lane. The Magic’s plan to have Richardson and Pietrus compete for the small forward position is fine but from a defensive aspect, it would behoove Van Gundy if he didn’t let Richardson play some shooting guard from time to time.

Closing thoughts
Given that Richardson is coming in with a chance to start at small forward, it needs to be stated that his arrival to Orlando has no bearing on J.J. Redick‘s future. Because Richardson and Pietrus will be competing for the small forward position, that still leaves a vacant spot at back-up shooting guard and Redick — unless Smith has a change of heart — is likely to fill that role for the Magic next year. It’s a bit puzzling that the mainstream media continues to suggest that Richardson’s arrival may spell the end of Redick’s career in Orlando. It doesn’t. It spells the end of Barnes’ career and that’s it. For now, at least.

In any case, Richardson is going to be an excellent fit with the Magic. With Richardson, Orlando’s worst three-point shooter is Carter and he shot 36.7 percent this season. In fact, now that Richardson is on board, the Magic possess five three-point shooters that have shot 40 percent or better in a season. For those that are curious, they are Carter, Rashard Lewis, Nelson, Redick (assuming he returns), and Richardson. That’s an impressive lineup of shooters, which makes the Richardson signing a great one for what he is able to bring to the table. At this point in his career, Richardson is best served in a low-usage, high efficiency role like he was with the Miami Heat.

With Orlando, there’s no doubt that Richardson will have an opportunity to continue in that role and thrive for the foreseeable future. The Magic are tailor-made for a player with Richardson’s talents.

The key is for Richardson to stay in shape.

*points per possession

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Ruel Zyndrex Abila

I don't think the Heat are very vulnerable, not against the Magic.

Ruel Zyndrex Abila
Ruel Zyndrex Abila

Thanks for the enlightenment Eddy!

But I still don't fear the Heat and I still feel that they're very vulnerable. They're tough, but the Magic can beat them especially if Vince consistently hits his shot.

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera




At this point, it's looking like the Magic are going to stick with the 4-out/1-in alignment. It makes sense, given that it's been successful and Orlando upgraded one of the shooters in the system. From a matchup perspective, it makes sense against the Heat. The Celtics are a trickier proposition.


To be frank, I don't think Howard needs any help. If he takes the next evolutionary step in his game offensively, I think the Magic will be fine against the Celtics and the Lakers. In my opinion, it comes down to whether or not Howard can be an unstoppable force on offense. Another big man could help, but there's not many out there readily available that would be a good fit with Orlando. Again, I think Howard's continued offensive development is the key.

And McGrady isn't coming here.

@NC Magic Fan

Yeah, can't blame for Barnes for wanting more money. This is Barnes' last chance at a big payday, so he's got to do what's best for him.


The numbers clearly show that Richardson did not play above-average defense. I agree that Richardson will be fine on defense with the Magic, though.

@jax502, @C.J.

Indeed. Otis did well with the Richardson signing.

@Ruel Zyndrex Abila

Good thoughts.

I think we'll see Van Gundy make a concerted effort to play more conventionally, at times, depending on the matchup. But I think it's foolish to underestimate the talent that is being assembled in Miami. Depth won't be a problem for the Heat, and neither will chemistry. James, Wade, and Bosh are unselfish players, and they're going to thrive playing with each other. Yeah, Miami doesn't have a big man that can effectively defend Howard on the low block for the time being. But Orlando has no one that can slow down James, Wade, not even Bosh. The advantages are in the Heat's favor and there's no getting around that.

Quick note on Defensive Rating: it's not a good metric to evaluate players with. It's too team dependent, which is why there's other numbers out there like net defensive plus/minus, that do a better job of quantifying a player's defense.

Ruel Zyndrex Abila
Ruel Zyndrex Abila

I honestly think we already have the pieces we need at PF/C... 2 stretches(Shard/Ryan), 1 bruiser(Brandon), 1 reserve center who can play as a traditional 4(Marcin). It's just a matter of switching between the 1-in 4-out style and the conventional style depending on the match-up. What we need is someone who can give us what we expected from Vince - a go to guy, both a slasher and a sniper. We also need another perimeter defender(again who can shoot the 3 on offense).

Jameer is an All-Star point guard who fits to our system really well. People think he has poor defense, maybe yeah if he plays 1 on 1, but the Magic plays team defense and so far Rashard and Jameer fits in well. We won't get that far 2 years ago, and we couldn't have cruised 8-0 in the playoffs months ago if our offensive and defensive styles aren't good. I know they're not good enough to win a Championship but as I've said, we have the pieces to switch styles. Play Duhon, Gortat and Pietrus for more defense. Bass for more size, Shard, Ryan JJ and Q for more threes. We don't have to panic because the desperate trio is in Miami. They have other problems like depth and chemistry. And besides, there's only 1 ball. Even with Big Z, I still think Dwight can abuse them at center and make the 1-in 4-out work just like we did in Cleveland 2 seasons ago when they have the best record in the league but we buried them by as much as 42pts(I think) and even if they had an 8-0 run in playoffs looking like an unstoppable train, they faced the Magic and they had a wreck. And yes, it's because of our 1-in 4-out scheme.

Otis, Stan and the owners are doing a great job of putting a championship caliber team but they aren't the ones who play the games. They brought the players in for what they could do. It's up to the players to do what they should do. I mean just like Vince. He was brought in to be our go-to guy. Yes he has proven he can do that on other teams, but on our team he has failed to deliver many times. It wasn't Otis's fault. He was playing well the season before and maybe Otis was expecting he could do the same on our team. Maybe it's expected there will be a drop-off because of age, but who could have expected Vince would hit numbers as low as that?

I also agree with Otis not giving away Gortat unless we get something of real value in return. Look at this:


His defensive rating is really good. So for those who think we need someone to help Dwight on the boards and on defense, we already have the Hammer and we just need to use him often.

I also hope we keep JJ and Ryan. I think Anderson can surpass Lewis one day and I think JJ is a really good player and he'll just get better in the coming years. These 2 guys could possibly be our future cornerstones and future recording artists? hehe.. Peace guys.


This seems like a great move. Let's hope that the rotations work better and Van Gundy learned his lesson about not using Bass. This can work out very well.


This is a great, unexpected move. I believe he's an upgrade to Barnes in terms of shooting accuracy.

Jack Dunkulous
Jack Dunkulous

Bringing back Redick is a must. He will only cost us 14 million next season. It just makes so much sense. So for VC, Nelson, Duhon, Richardson, and Redick it will only cost the Magic 51.5 million next year once the cap penalty kicks in. Now that will be a genius move by Otis.


I think Quentin is a much better defender then you gave him credit for. He's lost a lot of weight and last yr I'd say he played better then average defense, considering he was on one of the best defensive teams(Miami) in the league last yr. But whatever, we'll see how he does this yr. I think he's going to be a much better defender this yr because of Dwight of course and because he's had time to get use to his newer, slimmer body. Which I'm pretty sure was hard on him late in the season, fatigue wise. I also agree with what you said about playing him at the SG position. AND you didn't mention how much of a better passer and ball handler he was than Matt. Quentin can create his own shot in Iso. situation and that's something Pietrus and Barnes couldn't do last yr.

Otis makes another genius move.

NC Magic Fan
NC Magic Fan

Magic fans need to accept that the 4-out-1-in offense is going to be around as long as Dwight is here and the team keeps winning. Players like Quentin and JJ fit this system extremely well. The Celtics did not beat the Magic with size, they beat them with Paul Pierce combined with an ailing Rashard Lewis and poor shooting from Vince Carter.

Just a passing thought, Matt Barnes was offered the same deal as Richardson, so Matt ended his Magic stay by wanting more money and security, and deservedly so. Good luck to him.


so there is no hope of us getting a big man to help dwight and help the magic compete with other teams like celtics and lakers who have 2 big men. also is there hope of getting tracy mcgrady from free agency


So Eddy, you see no chance in us switching up and going for a more conventional line up at this point? By moving Rashard to the 3.


Once again, Eddy kills the analysis! I was questioning whether this was a good pick up or not...I see that Otis has come in and silently upgraded the team...once again!