Rumor: Jason Richardson Wants to Go to the Pistons or Bulls

This "inside info" comes via blogger hater and rumor generator Sam Smith of ChicagoSports.com:

Jason Richardson is leaving hints that given their infatuation with Monta Ellis Richardson will be the one traded by the Warriors after the season. Richardson is telling friends he's hoping for a trade to the Pistons or Bulls.

Take this rumor with a HUGE grain of salt. I can't remember the last time any of Smith's inside info on the Warriors ever materialized (correct me if I'm wrong on that in the comments). Do you really think JR would be telling his friends that he's hoping to be traded to the Pistons or Bulls while the Warriors are in the middle of a playoff run? Do you really think these "friends" would pass on this information to random guys in the media like Sam Smith? My take- no and nope.

Although I personally doubt the legitimacy of Smith's sources and speculation, there may be a little truth to the Warriors looking to move Jason Richardson this summer. GSoM friend Marcus Thompson recently dropped a piece for the Contra Costa Times noting that Richardson or Davis might be gone next year. Why?

The biggest reason is money. Davis and Richardson are set to make a combined $27.5 million next season. That figures to be nearly half the 2007-08 salary cap, which isn't expected to increase much beyond this season's $53.1 million figure, for just two players. When you throw in the salaries of the players under contract for next season -- forward Al Harrington, swingman Stephen Jackson, guard Monta Ellis and centers Andris Biedrins, Adonal Foyle and Patrick O'Bryant -- the Warriors' salary cap figure is over $60 million next season.

Remember, that figure does not include swingman Mickael Pietrus, forward Matt Barnes and guard Kelenna Azubuike -- neither of whom has a contract for next season. It also doesn't include the 2007 first-round selection (which could be a lottery pick) or that one extra dominant player coach Don Nelson keeps intimating he needs.

If Davis and Richardson somehow remain on the roster for next season, it would be even harder to keep them beyond that. The price tag for them jumps to $30 million in 2008-09, the final year of Davis' contract, which is also the same year the new contracts for Biedrins and Ellis would kick in.

Despite his lowest point totals since his rookie year this season, JR is probably still the most popular player on the Warriors. If the Warriors traded Jason, they'd be committing PR suicide. And if there's one thing Warrior owner Chris Cohan and crew understand it's how to make money off the best fans in the league with an inferior product. It would be shocking to see them move Jason Richardson without at least getting a big name in return.

Since coming back from his injured broken hand, JR's shown us that he has a lot of new weapons in his arsenal. I've never seen JRich pass, defend, and handle the rock like he's been doing recently. He's becoming a well-rounded player, something I never thought I'd say when he first came to the Warriors as a very raw 2 guard who could pretty much just dunk (but oh my could he dunk!). Unless JR's part of a package for a great power forward who can rebound, defend, score points down low, and swat some shots, it doesn't make any hoops sense to move him. If the Warriors do trade Richardson for a 4, it better be for a very good to great 4. Anything less would be, how should I say it?- too "Warrior-like" of a move.

Are there any JRich trades to either the Pistons and Bulls that make sense for both parties? Use ESPN's Trade Machine and post whatever you can come up with in the comments.

Props to loyal GSoM community member goldenboywarrior for linking to this rumor in a diary.


Also see:

99% of rumors never happen, but 99% of them are fun to talk about!


UPDATE: Check out some Bulls' fans thoughts about trading for Jason Richardson over at SBN brother site Blog a Bull: Jason Richardon wants to come to Chicago?

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