When Malachi Richardson suffered a partially torn hamstring on February 15th, it was a disappointing blow to the Sacramento Kings. Richardson had played well, and the Kings had struggled to find consistent production at the shooting guard position. Many of thought Richardson might be done for the season, but now it seems Richardson could be back as soon as this week.
From the Sacramento Bee’s Jason Jones:
Shooting guard Malachi Richardson, who hasn’t played since partially tearing his right hamstring Feb. 15 against Golden State, might be able to play this week, Joerger said. But with just 12 games left in the season, the Kings will be cautious with the rookie.
"We’ll see if he can go (Wednesday)," Joerger said. "If not, maybe this weekend. But we haven’t really put a time on it. We want him to feel good when he walks away from practice. But it’s been a little bit sore."
There’s no reason for the Kings to rush Richardson back. A lot has changed since Richardson went down. Ben McLemore stepped up when the opportunity came, and the Kings trade with the New Orleans Pelicans brough back three other players capable of filling in at shooting guard in Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, and Langston Galloway.
Because of the newfound logjam, I wouldn’t expect Richardson to see heavy minutes even once he feels 100% healthy again, especially considering how well Hield has played since joining the Kings.
That said, if Richardson does return to action, I’d love to see Joerger experiment with Richardson and Hield on the floor together. Both young players are expected to be part of the team’s long-term future, and I’d like to see how they work together on the floor.