Fischer’s Latest: Redick, Lakers, Valanciunas, Knicks, Jazz, Rockets, Bridges

J.J. Redick was just introduced as the Lakers head coach in a formal press conference on Monday, but he has already talked to members of the current roster about how he plans to maximize their personnel offensively, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reports.

Redick is going to put a premium on positional versatility, three-point shooting, and play-making, and has discussed specific roles with the players. He’ll also utilize lineups that can optimize LeBron James — his former podcast partner — off the ball.

League insiders continue to push the notion that the Lakers will look to upgrade the center position so that Anthony Davis can spend more time at power forward, Fischer writes. Baylor freshman Yves Missi and Indiana sophomore Ke’lel Ware are two possibilities they’ll look at with the No. 17 pick. However, they might be willing to move down the first round.

The Knicks and Jazz are each willing to trade their latter first-round pick and second-round draft capital to move up into the teens of this draft, Fischer hears. Utah owns the No. 29 and 32 picks and the Lakers might consider drafting Bronny James at one of those spots, rather than hoping LeBron’s son is still available with their second-rounder at No. 55.

Here’s more intel from Fischer:

  • Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas could be a free agent target for the Lakers if they decide to get veteran help at that spot. Hawks guard Dejounte Murray and Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant remain potential trade targets.
  • As previously reported, the Rockets are expected to pick up their $7.56MM option on Jae’Sean Tate and guarantee the salaries of Jeff Green and Jock Landale at $8MM apiece. That doesn’t mean they will remain on the roster. Houston could use those contracts as trade pieces. The Rockets are open for business on the No. 3 overall pick as they’re looking for win-now upgrades.
  • Numerous teams continue to check on the availability of Nets forward Mikal Bridges, including the Rockets, Knicks and Jazz. Utah could be well-positioned to make a significant move. It can dangle some significant contracts — John Collins ($26.5MM) and Jordan Clarkson ($14MM) — along with its 2024 draft capital (No. 10, 29,  32) and future picks from the Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell trades. The Jazz also have substantial cap room to absorb salary.
  • Along with the Knicks and Jazz, the Suns, Timberwolves and Celtics are among the teams with late first-rounders entertaining trade possibilities that could move them up or down in the draft.
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