J.J. Redick

Pelicans Notes: Young Talent, Redick, SVG, Free Agents

In his first press conference with his new team on Tuesday, Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy had high praise for forward Zion Williamson, the top pick in the 2019 draft, per Andrew Lopez of ESPN.

“He’s a multi-talented guy,” Van Gundy said. “I don’t look at him in any way as far as is he a four or a five. I’m not sure those labels matter when it comes to him.”

Van Gundy spoke highly of point guard Lonzo Ball, the No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft, as well.

“So I think as good as Lonzo is now, and he’s very good, I think that we can expect a good arc of improvement for him over the next few years,” Van Gundy opined.

The Pelicans’ new head coach also stressed emphasizing defense improvement for the club.

There’s more out of the Big Easy:

  • Veteran Pelicans guard J.J. Redick, who had played under Van Gundy while with the Magic, recommended the hire to Pelicans executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin. “I had mentioned to Griff back in August that I thought he’d be great for the job,” Redick said on his podcast The Old Man and the Three, as Andrew Lopez of ESPN relays (Twitter link).
  • With the hire of an experienced coach at the level of Van Gundy, the Pelicans are hopeful that their new head coach can optimize the potential of the team’s young talent, according to Scott Kushner of NOLA.com.
  • William Guillory of The Athletic assessed some ideal free agent candidates for the Pelicans in a new mailbag. With center Derrick Favors an unrestricted free agent this offseason, free agent veterans like Marc Gasol, Tristan Thompson, Meyers Leonard, and Aron Baynes could all be effective replacements should New Orleans opt to move on from Favors. Defensive-oriented Heat forward Jae Crowder is mentioned as another solid fit for the team to generally shore up its frontcourt depth.

Pelicans Notes: Van Gundy, Udoka, Lee, Redick

The hiring of Stan Van Gundy shows the sense of urgency within the Pelicans organization, William Guillory of The Athletic opines. Anything less than immediate playoff contention on a roster headed by Zion Williamson will be viewed as a failure, Guillory notes. Van Gundy would not have left his TV job for a rebuilding project and Pelicans executives will expect immediate results from their big-name hire, Guillory adds.

We have more on the Pelicans:

  • Ime Udoka and Charles Lee are potential additions to the Pelicans’ coaching staff, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reports. Udoka was an assistant under Brett Brown with the Sixers last season after a seven-year stint with the Spurs. Lee has worked under Mike Budenholzer since the 2014/15 season, first with the Hawks and then with the Bucks.
  • The fact that Van Gundy can concentrate on coaching rather than wearing two hats fosters the belief he’ll be a success in New Orleans, according to Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Times Picayune. Van Gundy was a flop in Detroit largely due to his personnel decisions. Van Gundy’s gregarious personality was a key factor in the hire, as Pelicans executive David Griffin feels Van Gundy will be able to connect with a young roster and make players accountable.
  • J.J. Redick is unlikely to be traded with Van Gundy on the bench, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (hat tip to Sportando). Redick, who has one year and $13MM remaining on his contract, played for Van Gundy in Orlando.
  • If you didn’t get all the details on Van Gundy taking the coaching reins in New Orleans, we have them here.

J.J. Redick Talks Departure From Sixers

J.J. Redick spent just two seasons in the City of Brotherly Love, but they were solid campaigns, both of which resulted in postseason appearances for the Sixers. Somewhat surprisingly, however, Philadelphia elected to let Redick walk in free agency last summer.

Redick inked a two-year, $26.5MM pact with the Pelicans, but the sharpshooting veteran still has some strong thoughts on his departure, as he expressed on Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes’ “All The Smoke” podcast, per the Philly Voice.

“They f—-d up not bringing me back, man,” Redick said. “They f—-d up not bringing me back.”

Redick, 36, enjoyed two of his best seasons with the Sixers, averaging 17.6 PPG and 2.8 APG across 30.8 minutes in 146 regular-season contests. However, accommodating large-dollar deals for the likes of Al Horford and Tobias Harris meant that the Sixers priced themselves out of certain acquisitions, Redick being at the forefront.

Uncertainty surrounding the Sixers remains as the organization parted ways with longtime head coach Brett Brown and today made official the hiring of Doc Rivers. Frequent roster turnover has been a constant for the Sixers in the past decade and Redick indicated that has been one of many issues that hurt the team’s chances in its championship pursuit.

“I’ve said this before, but the one consistent in Philly has been personnel in and out,” Redick said. “Like, you just have a ton of players that come through there. And so I think — Joel (Embiid) talked about this on my podcast — for him, he’s played with like, I don’t even f—ing know at this point, hundreds of teammates. It’s just a rotating cast of teammates, you know?”

J.J. Redick Aiming To Play Four More Years

Pelicans sharpshooter J.J. Redick turned 36 in June and has just one year left on his current contract with the team, but he’s not thinking about calling it a career when his deal ends next year. As he tells Mark Medina of USA Today, Redick is still hoping to play for several more seasons.

“I realized this year I want to keep playing as long as possible. My goal is to play four more years,” Redick said. “Year 18. That’s my goal. I’ll play to 39. Then my offseason, I’ll turn 40 and then I can walk away at that point. That’s my goal. We’ll see. The body has to hold up.”

The 11th overall pick in the 2006 draft, Redick has already played 14 seasons in the NBA after spending four full years at Duke. However, there’s no indication that he has lost a step as he enters his late-30s.

In 2019/20, Redick averaged 15.3 PPG on .453/.453/.892 shooting in 60 games (26.4 MPG) for New Orleans. All of those scoring and shooting rates were above his career averages. While it’s probably safe to assume he’ll see his minutes cut back to some extent over the next few years, his outside shooting ability should continue to make him a valuable role player for the Pelicans or – eventually – another team.

In his conversation with Medina, Redick praised the Pelicans’ young building blocks – Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, and Lonzo Ball – and suggested that there’s “a lot of potential and excitement” in New Orleans going forward. However, he admitted he wasn’t satisfied with the way the club’s 2019/20 campaign ended.

“I thought from a talent perspective and a depth perspective, we were a playoff team this year. So not to reach your potential as a team, you have to be disappointed in that,” Redick said. “You obviously have to self-reflect and self-grade with how could I have been better. Down the line, each guy has to do that.”

Pelicans Notes: Zion, Redick, Ingram, Restart

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry hasn’t spoken to Zion Williamson since he left Orlando for an “urgent family medical matter,” and there’s no timetable for the star rookie to return to the team, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Few details have emerged about Williamson’s situation since the announcement was made Thursday. Williamson will likely have to be quarantined for at least four days once he returns to the Walt Disney World Complex.

“Basically, we’re going to do our best to hold it down for him until he gets back, whenever that is,” J.J. Redick said on his latest podcast. “As a teammate, he’s a family member. We’ll do our best to keep this thing rolling. But obviously whatever is going on, we want the best for him. I feel awful for him because so much of this season has been a roller coaster for him. It seemed like he was in such a good place. Hopefully we get him back here soon.”

There’s more on the Pelicans, all courtesy of Vardon:

  • Redick, who turned 36 last month, talked about the strain placed on older players by stopping and restarting the season. In addition to the four-month hiatus, the league is hoping to begin next season in December, which would result in an unusually short offseason. “I feel good still. I feel like I have years left in my body,” Redick said. “As many of you know who have children and have a family, as they get older and you start missing milestones, it becomes harder to be away from them. I think as an athlete you want to have some sort of storybook ending. Most of us don’t get to have that. When you get towards the end, at least my thought process is as I get towards the end you sort of examine things in the moment. And, yeah, there’s uncertainty about next season and maybe even beyond that, it’s in the back of my mind about how much longer I want to play.”
  • With NBA awards to be based only on games already played, Gentry is campaigning for Brandon Ingram to be named Most Improved Player. Ingram posted career highs with 24.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists and helped New Orleans stay in the playoff race while Williamson was sidelined.
  • Gentry raved about the steps the league has taken to create a real-game atmosphere for the restart. The Pelicans will be part of the first game, facing the Jazz on TNT. “I think everybody assumed we were just going to play in an empty arena and you’re going to hear the balls bouncing and the officials talking,” he said, “but I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised when you see the atmosphere we’re going to be playing in.”

J.J. Redick Out At Least Two Weeks With Hamstring Strain

After leaving Friday’s game with a leg injury, Pelicans guard J.J. Redick has been diagnosed with a left hamstring strain, the team announced today in a press release. According to the Pelicans, Redick will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

Redick, 35, has been a key contributor in his first season in New Orleans, averaging 14.9 PPG, 2.6 RPG, and 2.0 APG in 54 games (26.4 MPG). The veteran sharpshooter has been his usual effective self from beyond the arc, knocking down 2.9 three-pointers per game at a 45.2% rate.

The Pelicans lost one of their top outside threats, Darius Miller, to a season-ending Achilles tear before the regular season began, but have still been one of the league’s most dangerous three-point-shooting teams in 2019/20. They currently rank third in both threes per game (14.1) and 3PT% (.375). However, Redick is the team leader in both categories and New Orleans will miss his floor spacing.

In Redick’s absence, E’Twaun Moore figures to take on a larger role, while Nickeil Alexander-Walker has a chance to earn some rotation minutes again. Jrue Holiday and Josh Hart will likely be leaned on heavily by the Pelicans too as the club continues its push for a playoff spot.

Lowe’s Latest: Redick, Bertans, Collins, Drummond, OKC, More

A number of players who have been mentioned as trade candidates this season may not be moved – or may not be available at all – at Thursday’s deadline, ESPN’s Zach Lowe writes in an article jam-packed with trade-related rumors and speculation.

For instance, teams who have called the Pelicans asking about J.J. Redick have been “shooed away,” sources tell Lowe. The Wizards have taken a similar approach to clubs inquiring on Davis Bertans, though Lowe notes that could change if Washington is offered something concrete that moves the needle more than a future first-round pick.

As Shams Charania of The Athletic reported last week, teams have been monitoring John Collins in case the Hawks think about trading him, but there’s no indication Atlanta has interest in moving Collins “on any of the general terms being bandied about,” Lowe writes.

The Pistons‘ talks involving Andre Drummond aren’t entirely dormant, but it’s “far from a sure thing” that he’ll be moved, according to Lowe, who suggests that even if Detroit does make a deal, the return will likely be less than the team envisioned.

Meanwhile, the Thunder have been mentioned all season long as a potential seller, given their offseason moves and their veteran trade candidates. But the safest bet is that they stand pat with guys like Danilo Gallinari, Dennis Schroder, and Steven Adams, per Lowe.

As Lowe points out, the Thunder could still have leverage to make deals after the season, when Schroder and Adams will be entering contract years and Gallinari will be a prime sign-and-trade candidate. The Heat are among the teams to inquire on Gallinari this season, sources tell Lowe.

As noted above, Lowe’s latest ESPN piece is filled with many more trade rumors and notes. Here are several of the highlights:

  • Lowe confirms a previous report that the Nuggets and Heat are among the teams to express interest in Jrue Holiday. Lowe also names the Raptors as a club that would be an ideal fit for the Pelicans guard, but he has a hard time envisioning a deal involving any of those teams unless they’re willing to part with young players like Michael Porter Jr., Tyler Herro, or OG Anunoby, which seems unlikely.
  • The Pacers could probably net a first-round pick for backup guard Aaron Holiday, but haven’t shown any real interest in moving him, says Lowe.
  • The chatter about the Trail Blazers making a major win-now move has died down, sources tell Lowe.
  • According to Lowe, the Lakers have explored the Kyle Kuzma market and are eyeing several ball-handlers, including Kings swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic, who has also received interest from the Hornets.
  • The Sixers don’t intend to include Matisse Thybulle in any deal and seem most likely to “tinker” around the edges of their roster, per Lowe.
  • The Grizzlies have asked for a first-round pick from teams inquiring on Jae Crowder, according to Lowe. However, he’d “bet heavily” against any potential trade partner meeting that price.
  • Lowe provides updates on both Morris brothers, suggesting that the Knicks “seem hell-bent” on keeping and re-signing Marcus Morris, and citing sources who say the Pistons could probably get a second-round pick for Markieff Morris.
  • A lot of teams have asked the Bucks about Sterling Brown, while Pistons youngsters Christian Wood and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk have also generated interest, according to Lowe, who thinks that Detroit is more likely to engage in talks on Wood than Mykhailiuk. Lowe also hears that a few clubs have “poked around” on Kings big man Harry Giles, and identifies Denzel Valentine (Bulls), Jakob Poeltl (Spurs), Marvin Williams (Hornets), and Malik Monk (Hornets) as other under-the-radar trade candidates to watch.

Pelicans Ready for Zion Williamson’s Debut

The long wait for Zion Williamson is almost over as the celebrated rookie is set to make his NBA debut tonight. He was projected to miss six to eight weeks after undergoing meniscus surgery in late October, but the actual recovery time turned out to be 13 1/2 weeks as the Pelicans were extremely cautious with their franchise cornerstone. Williamson tells Andrew Lopez of ESPN that the long wait was often difficult for him to accept.

“There’s a lot of times when I wanted to punch a wall or kick chairs because it’s frustrating,” Williamson said. “To not be able to move your body the way you want to, not to make any athletic movements; I mean, it’s tough. Especially because I’m 19 and I haven’t even played my first NBA game. It was tough but I battled through it.”

The rehab process included changes to his diet and the way he moves to help reduce the stress on his knees. That includes learning a new way to land after jumping.

“I think it’s not landing straight legs, kind of don’t let all my force go into my legs,” he said. “It’s a lot of technical stuff. I really couldn’t explain it to you, to be honest. I could probably show you on a video better.”

Williamson is aware of the immense expectations surrounding his first regular season game. A sell-out crowd is anticipated, and teammate Brandon Ingram said this week he expects every home game to be sold out for the rest of the season. The Pelicans have played their way back into the playoff race after a 6-22 start, and fans believe Williamson will push them over the top.

He doesn’t mind sharing that enthusiasm.

“We did go through a bad stretch, but things have turned around,” Williamson said. “Everybody’s been playing better. I’m just looking to go join in and have some fun.”

There’s more surrounding the star rookie’s first game:

  • The Pelicans have “really pulled back in trade talks among all their players” in hopes of making a playoff push, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said Tuesday on SportsCenter (video link from Tommy Beer of Forbes). The New Orleans front office wants to see how the team does in the seven games before the February 6 trade deadline before making a decision on the availability of Jrue Holiday and J.J. Redick, Woj adds.
  • Williamson’s debut comes with a few concerns, notes Dan Devine of The Ringer. Playing alongside Derrick Favors gives the Pelicans two frontcourt players with limited shooting range, and Zion’s presence might take away shots from Ingram, who is making a bid for the All-Star team. Also there are questions about whether New Orleans’ best small-ball lineup — Williamson, Ingram, Holiday, Redick and Lonzo Ball — can defend well enough to be effective.
  • Williamson has half a season to try to pass Grizzlies guard Ja Morant in the Rookie of the Year race, writes Preston Ellis of Bleacher Report, who observes that nobody has ever won the award while playing fewer than 50 games.

Pelicans’ Jrue Holiday Available Via Trade?

The Pelicans are believed to consider Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram untouchable in trade talks, and have remained reluctant to trade J.J. Redick, league sources tell Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter links). However, according to Stein, there’s a belief that Jrue Holiday is available via trade.

Stein cautions that it would surely require a substantial offer to convince the Pelicans to part with Holiday. Based on Stein’s report, it sounds like the team is open to listening to inquiries, but won’t actively shop its standout guard.

Still, as recently as this summer, when David Griffin took over as New Orleans’ head of basketball operations, Holiday was viewed as entirely off-limits. It appears the club’s dismal 6-21 start to the season has influenced the front office’s thinking on the subject.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski suggested on Sunday that Holiday loves New Orleans, but might not be opposed to a change of scenery if it means avoiding an extensive rebuild.

Holiday, 29, is considered one of the NBA’s best defensive guards, and has also been his usual productive self on offense so far this season. In 25 games, he has averaged 19.4 PPG, 6.8 APG, and 5.0 RPG with a .454 FG% and a .338 3PT%. He has shot 48.9% from the field and 38.9% on threes over his last 17 games, following an early-season slump.

Holiday is under contract through at least 2020/21, with matching cap hits of $26.2MM this season and next season. He also has a $27.1MM player option for 2021/22. If the Pelicans begin fielding trade offers in earnest, he could quickly become the most intriguing player on the trade block this winter.

Woj, Lowe On D-Lo, Mavs, MPJ, Love, VanVleet, More

Approximately 120 players around the NBA became trade-eligible on Sunday, signaling the unofficial start of the NBA’s 2019/20 trade season. To celebrate the occasion, Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe hosted an ESPN special to survey the trade market, discussing which teams are most likely to make moves and which players are most likely to be dealt.

Here are several of the highlights from that discussion between Woj and Lowe:

Western Conference:

  • The Warriors may field trade inquiries on D’Angelo Russell leading up to February’s trade deadline, but they’re unlikely to actively shop him and probably won’t move him before the 2020 offseason, according to Wojnarowski (video link).
  • Wojnarowski believes the Mavericks would like to acquire a standout center to complement Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis (video link). He cites Montrezl Harrell as one player who might fit that bill, though Dallas would have to wait for the Clippers‘ big man to reach free agency.
  • The Nuggets essentially view Michael Porter Jr. as “untouchable,” says Wojnarowski (video link).
  • Wojnarowski and Lowe expect contenders to keep a close eye on Pelicans guards Jrue Holiday and J.J. Redick as the deadline nears (video link). According to Woj, Holiday loves New Orleans, but it’s not clear how patient he’ll be with the team’s rebuilding process.
  • Woj and Lowe note that the Clippers pursued Marcus Morris in free agency and could have interest in him again on the trade market. Lowe wouldn’t be surprised if the club tries to see what it can get using a package of Maurice Harkless, Patrick Patterson, and its first-round pick (video link).
  • Wojnarowski views 2019/20 as a pivotal year for the Rockets, adding that GM Daryl Morey seems to have given up trying to find a way to trade for Grizzlies wing Andre Iguodala after exploring multi-team scenarios earlier in the year (video link).

Eastern Conference:

  • Wojnarowski thinks the best the Cavaliers can realistically expect in a Kevin Love trade is a protected first-round pick, an expiring salary, and another throw-in player (video link). Woj adds that it seems as if Love is “ready to go,” having lost patience with the rebuild in Cleveland.
  • Count the Raptors and Heat among teams that will be reluctant to make any moves that compromise their 2021 cap flexibility (video links). According to Wojnarowski, Toronto wants to re-sign Fred VanVleet this summer, but continues to eye Giannis Antetokounmpo for ’21. As for the Heat, they seem less likely to trade young players for veterans than they have been in the past.
  • Pistons owner Tom Gores “loves” Andre Drummond, but the club will soon have to have a serious conversation about whether to go all-in on the veteran center or whether to try to shop him, per Woj (video link).
  • Lowe thinks players like Timberwolves forward Robert Covington and J.J. Redick will be on the Bucks‘ radar if they’re available, adding that Milwaukee appears willing to go over the tax line for the right deal (video link).