MIAMI - Quentin Richardson and Dwyane Wade are regular workout partners during the off-season. They're about to get a chance to play together all year long.
Richardson's wild summer tour of the NBA continued Thursday night, when he was traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Miami Heat for centre Mark Blount.
Richardson spent the last four seasons with the New York Knicks and now has been traded four times in less than two months: to Memphis on draft night, then to the Los Angeles Clippers, then to Minnesota and now to Miami.
"We are very excited to add Quentin Richardson," Heat president Pat Riley said. "Over the course of his career, he has proven to be a fierce competitor, a great locker-room presence and a very prolific three-point shooter who may be one of the strongest perimeter players in the NBA. We feel that he will be able to match-up well against the top scorers in the league."
Richardson is due to earn about US$9 million this season. Blount was to make around $7.9 million.
"Who would of ever thought we would play 2gether. Let's get it," Wade wrote on his Twitter feed, welcoming Richardson to the Heat family.
Getting Richardson could help the Heat in a number of ways.
Miami had four centres on the roster, and Blount was easily the most disposable of that group. Wade, the reigning NBA scoring champion, hasn't been shy about clamouring for roster upgrades in recent months -- and he almost certainly wouldn't have any objections about the acquisition of one of his good friends. And Richardson figures to give the Heat extra depth at small forward, meaning the plan to have Michael Beasley play more minutes at that spot in 2009 instead of power forward now may be closer to being on hold.
Blount spent 1 1/2 seasons in Minnesota before coming to the Heat, starting 81 games for the Timberwolves in the 2006-07 season and averaging 12.3 points. A change of scenery could do him some good; Blount only played in 20 games for Miami last season, missing much of the year tending to personal and family matters following the death of a close relative in Haiti.
Riley said he thanked Blount for his contributions.
"He provided a solid veteran presence to our team the past two years," Riley said.
Minnesota now has only one true shooting guard on the roster -- rookie Wayne Ellington.
Given the Wolves' current youth movement and the fact that they already have Al Jefferson and Ryan Hollins at the centre position, it seems feasible that Blount may be moved again before the team opens training camp.
Timberwolves president David Kahn has spent much of his first summer on the job making a series of calculated trades, not so much for the value they bring on the court, but for the financial flexibility it brings to the team.
Like Richardson, Blount also is in the final year of his deal. Kahn could to move him elsewhere for a cheaper player, or combination of players, that will save the Timberwolves some money this season and keep them in a position to be a major buyer on the 2010 free-agent market.