Shooting guard Jeremy Richardson
has been signed by the Memphis Grizzlies, making him the fourth Gatorade call-up of the season. The second year guard has played with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants this season, leading the league in scoring at 28.5 points per game while shooting 46% from the field and 40% from behind the three point line. Richardson ranked at the top of the DraftExpress D-League Call-up List
due to his level of performance this season. To make room for Richardson, Memphis waived Tarence Kinsey
After going un-drafted out of Delta State in 2006, Jeremy Richardson
started last season with the Fort Worth Flyers of the D-League. After a strong start in the minor league, he was called up twice last season, first by the Atlanta Hawks and then by the Portland Trailblazers late in the season. Richardson joined the Miami Heat for summer league, and had a solid showing in training camp with the Heat. The last player cut, he joined the Mad Ants who drafted him with the second selection in the D-League Expansion Draft this season.
Memphis had to make a decision regarding Tarence Kinsey
, as his contract with the Grizzlies was scheduled to become guaranteed tomorrow. Rather than pay him for the rest of the season, they decided to part ways with the second year guard. Kinsey made a name for himself late last season, averaging 18.75 points per game in the last month of the season while scoring in double figures in all 8 games. This success didnt carry over to this year however, and he only appeared in 11 games for Memphis this season, playing just 8 minutes per game.
On the court, Richardson excels as a scorer, showing a reliable mid-range game, and the ability to pull-up and score off the dribble from anywhere on the court. He also has three point range on his jumper, and can get to the hoop as well. With the Grizzlies, he will need to prove that his lack of strength can be overcome at the NBA level.
Faced with the difficult decision early this season, Jeremy Richardson
turned down numerous offers to play in Europe. Efes Pilsen in Turkey and Rostav Na Donu in Russia were two teams in reported discussions with him, offering money in excess of $50,000 per month (plus a $20,000 buyout). Rather than cashing in early, Richardson chose to wait for another chance in the NBA.
Of the first four call-ups from the D-League this season, Richardson is the first upside guy. Eddie Gill
, Jelani McCoy
, and Luke Jackson
all have much more NBA experience than him, and were signed to fill immediate roles with their respective teams. With 10 day contracts fast approaching, we could see more upside players join NBA squads over the next few weeks.
Richardson joins a Grizzlies team that has struggled early in the season, compiling just a 7-17 record to start the season. In Memphis, he will join former Dakota Wizards head coach Dave Joerger, now an assistant for the Grizzlies. When with Dakota, Joerger faced off against Richardson and Fort Worth many times, and had a good look at what the young shooting guard is capable of.
In other recent D-League news, Demetris Nichols
has been assigned to the Iowa Energy, and D.J. Strawberry
will join his Suns' teammate Alando Tucker
on the Albuquerque Thunderbirds. The Bulls have also re-called rookie JamesOn Curry
from the Energy.