According to Pelicans beat writer Will Guillory, that debut will not come tonight in their home matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Guillory noted that Richardson will be in attendance, but he still has to clear his physical before officially gracing the hardwood.
With that possibility eliminated, his next opportunity to make his debut won’t be until Monday, when the Pelicans go on the road to play the Oklahoma City Thunder. That should give him enough time to clear his physical and make himself at least semi-familiar with the team.
Having his services available on Monday would be a huge plus for team, as the Thunder lead the league in drives per game by a pretty wide margin (per NBA.com). With his reputation as one of the better perimeter defenders in the game, Richardson would come in handy for containing these drives and keeping the Pelicans’ defense from being in constant scramble mode.
In other news, it was announced that Richardson will switch his jersey number from seven to two. The Pelicans have retired the number seven in honor of “Pistol” Pete Maravich and his contributions to basketball in the State of Louisiana.
This will be the first time in his career he’s dawned that jersey number. Previously, other than seven, he’s also worn the numbers zero and eight.