Jason Richardson is open to re-signing with the 76ers this summer.
The 34-year-old envisions himself in a similar role to the one he had this season. He would mentor his young teammates, be a positive influence and receive some playing time - maybe just not as the starting shooting guard.
"I don't have a problem coming back here," said Richardson, whose contract expires in June. "I like every guy in this locker room, believe it or not. . . . And I love coach Brett [Brown]. He's one of my favorite coaches of all time. So, yeah, I'm really open to [coming] back."
By now, most Sixers fans know Richardson's story. He returned to the court on Feb. 20 for the first time in more than two years after suffering a cartilage tear the size of a quarter on the right side of his left kneecap in January 2013.
In 19 games, he averaged 9.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 21.9 minutes. His best performance was a 29-point effort in a March 4 overtime road loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Richardson struggled during stretches. He missed 10 games after his return because of swelling and soreness in his knee and not being cleared to play on back-to-back nights.
Before Richardson's return, the Sixers had no plans to bring him back after his contract expired. Now they are at least considering it.
"For me, [this season] gave me hope and determination to come back from the injury that I did without really any practice time," he said, "and to be on the court, that gave me a lot of hope for my future. I can play a few more years in this league."
Richardson's summer goal is to get his knee stronger and his shot back. The plan is put in enough work this summer to be able to play the entire season.
"I had some moments this year where I showed what I could still do," Richardson said. "But other moments [weren't] so great. . . . I need to have time to develop my skills like I normally do in the summertime."