Richardson was reportedly among the Heat players discussed in a potential blockbuster deal for Jimmy Butler earlier in the season. Butler asked the Timberwolves to trade him, and Miami was one of his preferred destinations.
The Timberwolves made it clear they would look for the best possible deal for Butler. According to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Timberwolves were very interested in acquiring Richardson in any deal for their disgruntled star.
No deal materialized, though, and the Heat opted to keep Richardson. He admitted that he was already prepared for anything that could happen. He pointed out that being mentioned in trade rumors was a good learning experience for him, as it helped him grow as a player.
“It was a learning experience,” the 25-year-old guard said of being involved in numerous trade talks. “I learned how to handle that and I think I grew from that.”
The Heat pulled out of the trade negotiations with the Timberwolves. Minnesota eventually traded Butler and Justin Patton to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Timberwolves acquired Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, and a 2022 second-round pick in the deal for Butler.
It appears the former Tennessee standout has moved on from the “interesting” part of his young NBA career. He is tearing it up for the Heat this season, averaging career-high marks of 18.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.8 assists in 35.0 minutes per game for Miami.
Josh Richardson and the Heat will go up against the Timberwolves at AmericanAirlines Arena on Sunday. The Heat will look to improve their 17-17 record heading into 2019. They are currently sixth in the Eastern Conference standings behind the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Boston Celtics.