Community Shootaround: Paul Millsap And J.J. Redick

As the dust settles on another free agency/trade market, there are two names conspicuously absent from rosters: J.J. Redick and Paul Millsap.

Redick’s absence is understandable, as he was vocally disappointed with how he was treated by the Pelicans, who traded him mid-season to the Mavericks in the midst of Redick’s least product year since the 2008/09 season. Redick has been clear on his desire to take his time, enjoy the summer with his family, and not make a decision until at least the fall.

Redick was also limited in the 2020/21 season by a heel injury that kept him out of the Mavericks’ playoff run and bothered him throughout much of the season. Teams interested in his service will be sure to do their due diligence on how his recovery has gone, and whether that will be a lingering issue.

Millsap’s lengthy free agency is a little more surprising. Though the 36-year-old forward is clearly slowing down a bit in recent years, he was still an important part of the Nuggets’ success over the last four seasons, as a versatile team defender who shot over 37% from three in his Denver tenure.

With defense and shooting a premium commodity from the power forward spot, Millsap’s skill set would be very useful to a number of contending teams, or teams looking to make the push into contention. In previous reporting, Millsap has been linked to the Warriors, Timberwolves, Hawks, Nets, Pelicans, and Sixers, which leads to an interesting philosophical question for the veteran.

If Millsap were to go to a team like the Timberwolves, he would likely play a relatively large amount of minutes, as second-year defensive standout Jaden McDaniels, Jake Layman and current RFA Jarred Vanderbilt are the only forwards on the team’s roster. He could join a young team desperate to start winning, and provide an ideal counterpart to the elite shooting of Karl-Anthony Towns.

But his lack of rush in signing a deal also points to a potential desire to do more than get minutes for a likely middling team. With the Warriors, Millsap could fill a role very similar to the one Blake Griffin provided for the Nets last season, and, depending on the growth and health of last year’s number two overall pick James Wiseman, could possibly even start alongside Draymond Green. Millsap’s IQ, defensive versatility and shooting prowess would make him an ideal fit in Golden State’s system, and helping Stephen Curry and the Warriors regain their contender status could hold a lot of appeal for a player who has only won two career Conference Finals games.

The Warriors still have their taxpayer mid-level exception, meaning they could offer up to $5.9MM to Millsap, though the tax bill from doing so would be immense.

With the Bucks, Millsap could provide a similar role. After losing P.J. Tucker to the Heat, the Bucks remain very shallow in the frontcourt, with Bobby Portis and raw second-year player Mamadi Diakite as the team’s only depth. Millsap could provide a similar role to Tucker, but as more of a threat from deep.

Meanwhile, the Nets are generally considered the most likely landing spot for Redick, who lives in Brooklyn already and loves New York. There have even been rumblings that Redick might consider retirement if he doesn’t land with the Nets or Knicks. But between Kyrie Irving, Patty Mills, James Harden, Joe Harris, and this year’s first-round pick Cameron Thomas, the Nets are already overflowing with hot-shooting guards who are defensive question marks, and it’s unclear what kind of role Redick would command.

The Knicks, who have also been mentioned as a team Redick could be interested in, have a similar guard log-jam, with Evan Fournier, second-year standout Immanuel Quickley, Alec Burks, and first-round pick Quentin Grimes all likely to see time at the shooting guard position.

So that brings us to the question of the day: Which teams will Redick and Millsap end up with? And will they sign before the season, or after the season’s already underway?

Take to the comments to let us know!

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