The NBA’s Miami Heat signed former Tennessee basketball standout Josh Richardson to a three-year contract Monday. The move guarantees the VFL a roster spot for the 2015-16 season.
The Heat selected Richardson in the second round of June’s NBA Draft (40th overall pick), and he flourished for the organization during NBA Summer League stints in July.
“I want to thank everyone at Tennessee for being so supportive during my career as a Vol,” Richardson said. “I especially want to thank all my teammates and coaches who helped me with my development. I had a great time at Tennessee, and I’ll always be a VFL.
“I can’t wait to get settled in Miami, put my head down and get to work. I appreciate all the faith they’ve shown in me so far.”
A 6-6 guard from Edmond, Okla., Richardson is poised to become the 35th Vol to play in the NBA or now-defunct ABA.
A UT product had never previously been drafted by or played for the Heat, though the organization did briefly hold the rights to Dale Ellis prior to the 2000-01 season.
A 2015 All-SEC honoree from both the Associated Press and the league’s head coaches, Richardson finished his Tennessee career ranked third in school history in games played (136), ninth in minutes played (3,802), ninth in games started (110), 10th in steals (147), 16th in blocks (88) and 28th in scoring (1,252).
As a senior this past season, he started all 32 games and led the Volunteers in scoring (16.0 ppg), field-goal percentage (.461), free-throw percentage (.798), assists (3.6 apg), steals (2.1 spg) and minutes played (36.3 mpg). He shot .359 from behind the 3-point arc and .798 from the free-throw line.
Richardson received his degree in Psychology in May.