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Heat, Josh Richardson agree on four-year, $42 million extension

Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Basketball

The Miami Heat have made their commitment to Josh Richardson clear, with an agreement on a four-year, $42 million extension for the guard that will kick in starting in 2018-19.

Richardson, a 2015 second-round pick who has become a staple of the Heat's backcourt in the transition from the franchise's Big Three era, became eligible for the extension last month, with the agreement coming less than two weeks before the Heat open training camp.

A party familiar with the negotiations Wednesday told the Sun Sentinel the framework of the deal had been "on the table for a while."

The extension is the maximum the Heat were able to offer Richardson, who turns 23 Friday, based on his tenure and contract status. The parties had until June 30 to reach an agreement, with Richardson otherwise becoming a free agent during the 2018 offseason.

The move is the latest long-term transaction by the Heat, which previously moved over future salary caps with this summer's free-agency signings of Dion Waiters, James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk. The agreement with Richardson next could have the Heat flirting with the luxury tax going forward.

Richardson will remain under his rookie contract this coming season, at $1.5 million, before entering the new deal that runs through 2021-22, which is a player-option year.

With the agreement, the Heat now have 10 players locked into contracts through at least 2018-19: Richardson, Waiters, Olynyk, James Johnson, Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic, Bam Adebayo, Rodney McGruder, A.J. Hammons and Tyler Johnson.

The Heat next have a decision on the $3.5 million 2018-19 option year on the rookie-scale contract of 2015 first-round pick Justise Winslow, a decision that must be made by the Oct. 18 regular-season opener against the Orlando Magic.

Heat President Pat Riley in July cited Richardson as part of the Heat's long-range view, along with Whiteside, Winslow and Tyler Johnson.

"Give me four guys their age in the league, and let's play a four-on-four game and I think we'd have a pretty competitive four," he said.

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