LAS VEGAS – So how does Josh Richardson feel about being the newest 76ers shooting guard?
“I’m super excited,” Richardson told The Inquirer on Wednesday while attending the Sixers’ 96-81 NBA Summer League loss to the Detroit Pistons.
The four-year veteran will join a talented starting lineup that includes All-Stars Al Horford, Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons, and fringe All-Star Tobias Harris.
“You see what Al has done over his 12-year career,” Richardson said. “You see [that] Joel has made himself one of the top three if not one of the best centers in the league. Ben is just a force the way he handles the ball. And Tobias has built himself into a great player.”
He also mentioned Zhaire Smith and first-round pick Matisse Thybulle and "a lot of guys, a lot of pieces” as reasons for his excitement.
The Sixers acquired Richardson from the Miami Heat on Saturday via a sign-and-trade with Jimmy Butler. The 6-foot-6, 200-pounder, who is regarded as a poor man’s Butler, thinks he’ll fit in well with the Sixers.
“I think I can space the floor for guys like Ben and Joel to work,” he said. "I think I bring a defensive presence on guards and just a good work ethic really and a good locker-room guy. I’ve always been a glue guy on every team I’ve been on. So I think I can bring some good chemistry to the team.”
With Richardson in attendance, Thybulle showed another glimpse of why the Sixers promised to select him in the draft last month. He has a knack for turning an opposing team’s lackluster passes into transition baskets at the other end. He’s also a better shooter than draft analysts gave him credit for being.
In the loss to the Pistons, the 6-5, 205-pound swingman had 12 points on 4-for-8 shooting to go with three assists and two steals. He made 2-of-4 three-pointers. Thybulle had an imprint on the game from the start, scoring seven of the Sixers’ first 10 points on 3-for-4 shooting.
He acknowledged that he’s getting more comfortable with each game.
“My whole goal this summer league was see how it went the first game and just build,” said Thybulle, who is averaging 12.0 points and shooting 39.1 percent on three-pointers in four summer-league games. “Going into each game, I just want to learn from the last game and just build on that.”
Jalen Jones also had 12 points to go with eight rebounds. Smith finished with 11 points while making 2-of-5 three-pointers.
Marial Shayok scored 11 points in a reserve role after being listed as questionable with left knee soreness.
Matt Costello finished with a game-high 18 points for the Pistons (4-0).
The Sixers concluded the preliminary round with a 1-3 record. They will play a consolation game this weekend.
The team moved up four spots in a trade with Boston Celtics to select Thybulle with the 20th pick. Boston received the Sixers’ 24th pick and the 33rd overall selection in the second round. All that came after the Sixers promised Thybulle they would draft him if he was available.