J.J. Redick

Mavericks, Nuggets Eyeing J.J. Redick?

A pair of Western Conference playoff contenders are potential suitors for J.J. Redick, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who said in an episode of The Mismatch podcast that the Mavericks and Nuggets have “some level of interest” in the Pelicans‘ sharpshooter (hat tip to Sportando).

When Redick’s name first surfaced in trade rumors in January, a handful of Atlantic teams were identified as his most likely landing spots, with the Nets, Knicks, Celtics, and Sixers all named as possibilities. The thinking was that the 36-year-old would prefer to be closer to his family in Brooklyn.

While the Pelicans would like to do right by Redick, they presumably won’t just send him to an Atlantic team for nothing if a Western club like the Mavs or Nuggets makes a stronger offer. Redick and Eric Bledsoe were said earlier this week to still be very much available.

Redick, who has a $13MM expiring contract, got off to a very slow start this season, but has shot the ball well since falling out of the rotation for three games at the end of January. In his last 14 games, Redick has averaged 8.7 points in 16.3 MPG and has knocked down 49.0% of his 3-point attempts.

Dallas and Denver each have a handful of salaries in the range of Redick’s on their books, though some of those players wouldn’t be expendable. James Johnson‘s $16MM expiring contract would be the Mavs’ most logical outgoing piece, while the Nuggets may prefer to move Gary Harris, who is still owed a $20.9MM guaranteed salary in 2021/22.

Pelicans Rumors: Ball, Redick, Bledsoe, Picks, Zion

In the weeks since the first Lonzo Ball trade rumors began surfacing in January, the point guard has busted out of his early-season slump, averaging 16.2 PPG and 5.4 APG on .453/.453/.846 shooting in 18 games. As a result, there’s “little expectation” for now that the Pelicans will move the former No. 2 overall pick in advance of this month’s trade deadline, sources tell Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

However, veteran guards J.J. Redick and Eric Bledsoe still appear to be very available, according to Fischer, who hears that Alvin Gentry‘s coaching staff last season lobbied the front office to move Redick. Now, it seems the Pelicans are hoping to do right by the 36-year-old sharpshooter by sending him to a team close to his family in Brooklyn, Fischer writes.

Here’s more on the Pelicans:

  • When the Pelicans dealt Jrue Holiday last fall, the belief was that they’d prefer to receive a package of established players who could help immediately, according to Fischer. When they couldn’t find an appealing deal fitting that bill, the Pels opted for a pile of draft picks instead. Now, with players like Redick and Bledsoe on the block, New Orleans is thought to be after more draft capital. “They just want to accumulate more and more picks,” a league source told Bleacher Report. “They’re in an arms race with OKC.”
  • The prevailing thought is that the Pelicans hope to eventually take advantage of their collection of draft picks by packaging them for an impact player, per Fischer. “Their interest is definitely to consolidate and do something sooner rather than later,” a Western Conference official said.
  • Having received massive packages in exchange for Holiday and Anthony Davis, the Pelicans will have to be realistic about the far more modest return they can demand for a player like Redick or Bledsoe, Fischer writes. “They’re going to have to lower the asking price,” one scout said.
  • The Pelicans are still weighing what position best suits franchise player Zion Williamson, according to Fischer, who says president of basketball operations David Griffin likes the idea of Williamson having the ball in his hands more. So far, the team has focused on playing him at power forward alongside another traditional big man, opting not to add a reliable stretch five to the roster. As Fischer notes, the Pelicans targeted Steven Adams rather than Al Horford in their offseason talks with the Thunder, and they also didn’t seriously inquire on Myles Turner.

And-Ones: Vaccines, Ball, Trade Candidates, Defenders, All-Star Voting

In an effort to alleviate players’ – and some coaches’ – fears and skepticism about receiving COVID-19 vaccines, the NBA is arranging mandatory meetings over the next two weeks between its top medical expert and all 30 teams, Sam Amick, Joe Vardon and David Aldridge of The Athletic report. Teams felt there was a need to provide information and insight on this issue to its players.

The NBA wants everyone associated with the game — players, coaches, referees and chief front office personnel — to get the shots, not only for safety reasons but also as part of a national volunteering-public relations campaign.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • LaMelo Ball ranks as the leading candidate for the Rookie of the Year award, according to Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. The Hornets guard ranks first in assists and steals, second in rebounding and third in scoring among all rookies despite coming off the bench in all but two games. Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton sits in second place for Wasserman, who ranks the rookies from 10-1.
  • With Wizards guard Bradley Beal apparently off the market, there won’t be another blockbuster trade this season to rival the James Harden deal, Tim Bontemps of ESPN opines. Some of the players who could be moved by March’s trade deadline are Lonzo BallJ.J. Redick, P.J. Tucker, George Hill, Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon, though Hill and Gordon are currently injured.
  • Rudy Gobert‘s contract with the Jazz is a rare case in which a defensive stalwart is compensated like a elite scorer, Aldridge notes in a separate Athletic story. Aldridge takes a closer look at why top defenders are generally not as valued as scorers.
  • Kevin Durant has received the most All-Star votes in the early returns, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets. Beal is the top vote-getter among Eastern Conference guards. LeBron James has the most votes among Western Conference forwards and Stephen Curry leads all Western Conference guards by a wide margin.

Latest On J.J. Redick

A Sunday report indicated that Pelicans sharpshooter J.J. Redick is interested in returning to a team in the Atlantic Division, where he could be closer to his family in Brooklyn. That report identified the Sixers, Nets, and Celtics as teams that would intrigue Redick, and noted that all three of those clubs have expressed some interest in the veteran wing.

In addition to those three teams, Redick would have interest in joining the Knicks, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. It’s unclear if New York reciprocates the 36-year-old’s interest. If so, it would be a pretty clean fit from a salary cap perspective, since the Knicks are the only team in the NBA with enough cap room to accommodate Redick $13MM cap hit without sending out any salary. The Celtics are among the teams that could take on Redick’s contract outright via a trade exception.

That leaves Toronto as the only Atlantic team not on Redick’s reported wish list, which makes sense — the Raptors are playing in Tampa this season due to the COVID-19 restrictions applying to the U.S./Canada border, so they’ve been temporarily displaced from the northeast.

Here’s more on Redick:

  • One Eastern Conference general manager who spoke to Sean Deveney of Forbes is skeptical that the Pelicans will get much of a return for Redick, since he looks like a potential buyout candidate. “No one wants to give up a young player or a pick for a guy you could sign a week after the deadline passes anyway,” the GM said. For what it’s worth, I think the Pelicans will have a hard time finding a first-round pick for Redick unless they’re willing to take on some bad multiyear money, but landing a second-rounder or two seems more realistic, especially if suitors view his struggles this season as a short-term slump.
  • David Aldridge, Joe Vardon, and John Hollinger of The Athletic consider whether Redick would fit best with the Nets, Sixers, or Celtics, ultimately concluding that Boston makes the most sense of the three. Hollinger suggests that a pair of second-rounders and some “dead-ish” money would be a fair return for the Pelicans if they make a deal with the C’s.
  • As noted by The Athletic and others, Tuesday, February 2 is the last day this season that a player can be traded and then have his salary aggregated in a second trade by deadline day (March 25). If a player is traded on Wednesday, that re-aggregation restriction wouldn’t lift until March 26. It remains to be seen whether that deadline will prompt any action today or tomorrow on the Redick front or elsewhere.

Pelicans Target Atlantic Division Contenders For Redick

The Pelicans are targeting Atlantic Division contenders – the Nets, Sixers, and Celtics – as trade destinations for swingman J.J. Redick, per The Athletic writers Shams Charania, William Guillory, Jay King, Derek Bodner, Alex Schiffer and Danny Leroux.

As we relayed last week, teams have been reaching out to New Orleans about guards Redick and Lonzo Ball.

The Athletic piece suggests that Redick, on an expiring $13.1MM contract, would like to play for one of these northeast-based clubs, as his wife and children live in Brooklyn. Should Redick not be dealt by the March 25 deadline, the veteran could also become a buyout candidate for a contending team.

A catch-and-shoot wing like Redick could be a fit for all three clubs, and all three have expressed interest, per The Athletic.

Redick was the starting shooting guard for the Sixers from 2017-19, while Boston could use another reliable shooter. Brooklyn, meanwhile, depleted many of its potential trade pieces in the blockbuster deal that netted the team All-Star guard James Harden. Schiffer notes that the presence of newly-extended swingman Joe Harris – a similar player to Redick – and the Nets’ relative lack of assets may make a deal a longer shot for Brooklyn.

The 36-year-old Redick has been a healthy scratch for the last two Pelicans contests. At 7-11, New Orleans is currently out of the playoff picture in the West.

Redick is averaging 7.9 PPG in 19.9 MPG, his lowest such totals since his age-24 season in 2008/09. A career 41.4% three-point shooter and 89.2% free throw shooter, Redick is connecting on just 29.8% of his long range attempts this season, though he is making a stellar 100% on his 1.6 free throw tries.

Pelicans Receiving Trade Calls On Lonzo Ball, J.J. Redick

The Pelicans are receiving trade calls on Lonzo Ball and J.J. Redick, according to a report from Shams Charania of The Athletic.

New Orleans has shown a willingness to discuss the two guards with interested teams, Charania writes, and rival executives believe the Pelicans will be prominent in the trade market this season.

The news isn’t exactly surprising — the team has opened the 2020/21 season with a 5-10 record and both Ball and Redick didn’t suddenly become available. A move for either player would likely result in more playing time for young guards Nickeil Alexander-Walker and/or Kira Lewis.

The Pelicans have briefly discussed a potential deal involving Kelly Oubre Jr. with the Warriors, according to Charania, though it hasn’t gained any traction. It’s unclear whether Golden State would’ve been targeting Ball or Redick in such a deal.

Teams typically begin ramping up dialogue in the weeks prior to the trade deadline, which is scheduled for March 25 this season.

In addition to Ball, Redick, Alexander-Walker and Lewis, the Pelicans also have point guard Eric Bledsoe on their roster. Bledsoe, 31, has started in 13 of 14 games this season.

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, White, Silas, Doncic

With the starting Pelicans backcourt tandem of Eric Bledsoe and Lonzo Ball struggling to score, William Guillory of The Athletic suggests that swapping in sharpshooter J.J. Redick for Bledsoe could help unlock the club’s offense.

Redick could benefit by playing alongside new starting center Steven Adams, the best screener on the New Orleans roster. With Redick starting, All-Star small forward Brandon Ingram could become the club’s primary ball handler.

There’s more out of the NBA’s Southwest Division:

  • Newly-extended Spurs guard Derrick White has been activated by San Antonio, and thus will be available for the first time since his August surgery on the second toe of his left foot, per Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News. The Spurs host the Lakers tomorrow night.
  • New Rockets head coach Stephen Silas is continuing to work Houston’s newly-available players into his game planning as they come back from COVID-19 health protocols, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
  • Mavericks All-Star guard Luka Doncic is hoping to get out of a bumpy offensive start to his third NBA season, according to Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News. He had one of worst scoring performances as a pro on Wednesday, scoring just 12 points against the Hornets in a 118-99 loss. “Obviously I’ve got to do way better,” Doncic said. “I can still prove so much, so I’ve got to work on those shots every day and if you work on it, they’re going to fall in eventually, so that’s my point of view.” Doncic has gone cold from long distance this season, connecting on just 9.5% of his 5.3 three-point attempts a night.

Southwest Notes: Vassell, DeRozan, Tucker, Pelicans, Redick, Bledsoe

Spurs swingman DeMar DeRozan is helping to teach rookie Devin Vassell the nuances of the NBA game, Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express News writes. Vassell was selected with the 11th overall pick in the draft and also plays on the wing. “A lot of times, even in practice, he comes to me and asks questions,” DeRozan said. “That’s big for a young guy to to be able to come to our vets and just ask questions, ask what he is doing wrong, what he can do better.” Vassell had 12 points, six rebounds and three steals in 24 minutes during his preseason debut.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Seeking an extension, Rockets forward P.J. Tucker says he wants to go “where I am wanted,” Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets. Tucker promises to “do my job” even if the club doesn’t offer him an extension. Tucker, who will make approximately $7.97MM this season, will enter unrestricted free agency next summer.
  • The Pelicans’ acquisition of center Steven Adams from the Thunder and subsequent decision to give him an extension was a head-scratcher, John Hollinger of The Athletic opines. They could have instead acquired a better shooter in Al Horford or re-signed Derrick Favors. They also would have been better off holding onto George Hill, rather than dealing him in the same multi-team trade involving Denver and Oklahoma City, Hollinger contends. Hill is a better shooter than Eric Bledsoe and New Orleans also has enough depth at the point, Hollinger adds.
  • Bledsoe will have to pass a series of tests before he can rejoin the Pelicans, coach Stan Van Gundy told The Athletic’s Will Guillory and other media members (Twitter link). Bledsoe left the market due to a personal matter and missed a COVID-19 test. J.J. Redick was held out of the team’s preseason game on Monday due to contact tracing.

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.