J.J. Redick

Atlantic Notes: Redick, Draft, Baynes, Bamba, Fizdale

J.J. Redick joined the Sixers as the well-paid, seasoned veteran who was expected to help the team reach the postseason with his leadership and three-point shooting ability. Redick did just that as the Sixers charged into the postseason, making it to the second round before losing to the Celtics.

As Rich Hofmann of The Athletic (subscription required) writes, Redick’s arrival was on a one-year deal with the hope that both sides can work out something more long-term in the future. However, after such as successful season, and the Sixers’ plan to pursue top free agents to pair with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, Redick’s potential departure appears to be on the backburner. Redick remains optimistic about what will happen with his free agency this summer.

“I think it’s a mutual appreciation,” Redick said. “I’m sure we all hope that I am back. The numbers can get tricky. It’s not my job to worry about that. I’ll let Bryan, my agent, and the events over the next two months sort of play out, and we’ll make a decision.”

Check out more Atlantic Division notes below:

  • Derek Bodner of The Athletic examines which prospects make sense for the Sixers as they prepare to draft with the 10th overall pick. Among the names that Bodner feels makes sense for Philadelphia includes Michael Porter Jr., Trae Young, Collin Sexton, and Miles Bridges.
  • A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston writes about how Celtics big man Aron Baynes developed his perimeter shooting after coach Brad Stevens noticed Baynes knocking down mid-range jumpers with ease during practice. “He’s shot them every single day, through training camp, practice, through pre-game shooting and everything else,” Stevens recalled. “We’ve encouraged him to shoot all year especially from the corners.”
  • Former Knicks All-Star and Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo feels that David Fizdale did not get enough of an opportunity to prove himself as head coach with the Grizzlies, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. McAdoo worked with Fizdale in Miami for almost a decade and believes Fizdale can be an impactful coach if he’s not restrained. “He did do a good job in Memphis, but it’s a player’s league,’’ McAdoo said. “Gasol didn’t like sitting on the bench. David felt this was the best way to go. It was a problem and upper management got rid of him.’’
  • Texas’ Mohamed Bamba opened some eyes with his wingspan and defensive ability at the draft combine. As the Knicks prepare to draft ninth overall, the dream of pairing Bamba in the backcourt with Kristaps Porzingis may be fading, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2018: Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers have made it quite clear that they’re ready and willing to accelerate their timeline and make a serious bid for an elite free agent. That’s ambitious and admirable, but to assume that a player like LeBron James is around the corner is like buying lottery tickets to fund your retirement.

It’s commendable that the Sixers have their sights set on big fish, but let’s assume that the King decides to re-up in Cleveland and Philly is forced to see their original process through to the end. Sure, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid weren’t enough to win the East in their first ever playoff appearances, that doesn’t mean the organization is in any less of an enviable place than they were a month ago.

In the event that Philly strikes out in their pursuit of James, they’d be wise to continue what they set out to do in 2017/18, surround their obnoxiously promising young core with solid veterans capable of helping them flourish into superstars.

J.J. Redick, SG, 34 (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $23MM deal in 2017
The idea to overpay Redick for a one-year contract last summer was brilliant. The team was able to complement its young core with a capable veteran scorer while getting a feel for what the next phase of the process was. It turns out the next phase involves winning, though, which involves paying to keep the club’s young core in tact. Since July, when Redick signed his monster contract, the Sixers have extended both Embiid and Robert Covington, eating up $35MM in salary that they didn’t need to worry about this time last. While the club still has piles of cap room for 2018/19, Philadelphia may look to lock Redick down at a discounted rate now that the roster is looking less and less like a science fair project and more like a contender.

Marco Belinelli, SG, 32 (Up) – Signed to a one-year deal in 2018
Belinelli landed with the Hawks last offseason, a hired gun on a short-term deal, and eventually became one of the buyout market’s most desirable pieces. The Sixers prudently added the shooting guard in February and gave him a months-long opportunity to show what he’s capable of contributing to a contender. Belinelli is still young enough to command a contract in the $8MM-$10MM range and may be able to parlay his success in Philly into a longer-term contract. That could very well put him right back in a Sixers uniform.

Ersan Ilyasova, PF, 31 (Down) – Signed to a one-year deal in 2018
There are few players who fill an unheralded role more brilliantly than Ilyasova but that hasn’t helped him find any stability since getting traded away from Milwaukee in 2015. In the three years since, the veteran has plied his scrappy trade for five franchises, proving at every step along the way that he’s a solid rotation piece. Unfortunately for Ilyasova, the contenders that he could benefit most tend to be the ones with the least amount of cap space, so he may need to take a discount if he wants to win.

Amir Johnson, C, 31 (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $11MM deal in 2017
The Sixers are in a drastically different place than they were when they inked Johnson, a reliable if unexciting veteran, to an eight-digit contract. For one, the win-now Eastern Conference contender need not get creative just to meet the league’s salary floor and they also don’t need to be quite as cautious when it comes to Embiid insurance. If Johnson wants to remain in Philadelphia – or on any serious playoff team – he may need to take a significant pay cut.

Richaun Holmes, C, 24 (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $5MM deal in 2015
Thanks to Embiid’s reasonably healthy season, the Sixers didn’t utilize Holmes as much as they did the year prior but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still high on the athletic big man’s long-term role with the franchise. Picking up his $1.6MM team option is a no-brainer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Atlantic Notes: Ntilikina, Redick, Sixers Offseason

With David Fizdale as the new head coach, one important storyline to watch will be how he helps teenage point guard Frank Ntilikina develop, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Ntilikina was the Knicks’ first-round pick (eighth overall) under the previous administration last year and his development will be key to New York’s future.

The Frenchman averaged 5.9 PPG and 3.2 APG in 78 games this season while showing potential on the defensive end. Fizdale made a series of media appearances, praising Ntilikina’s potential and being eager to coach him. In particular, Fizdale touted Ntilikina’s ability on both sides of the ball during an interview with ESPN.

“I see a possibility with a two-way player,’’ Fizdale said. “The kid takes real pride in defending. He’s got big-time wingspan. He’s a combo guard. We get him where he’s knocking down that three-ball every single time with his feet set, his shot always looks pretty good. I think he’s too unselfish. But he has the competitive streak I really like.”

Check out more Atlantic Division notes below:

  • J.J. Redick will be an interesting free agent to watch this summer after he was an important veteran presence for a young Sixers team. Frank Urbina of HoopsHype looks at four potential destinations for Redick this summer, including the Lakers, Cavaliers, Spurs, and reunion with the Sixers.
  • Dennis Chambers of Basketball Insiders writes that after a strong season that included a first-round postseason win and a strong effort versus the Celtics, the Sixers will need to be persistent. Chambers writes that Philadelphia’s young stars will need to develop their skill sets and that the organization will need to recruit outside talent.
  • In an earlier post of Atlantic Division notes, we relayed the Celtics’ strong play in the postseason, Fizdale’s tough upbringing in California, and fired Raptors coach Dwane Casey’s emotional farewell to Toronto.

Sixers Will Pursue Top Free Agents

Luxury tax concerns won’t scare the Sixers away from chasing elite talent this summer, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

LeBron James tops the list of targets and is rumored to be considering Philadelphia as a possible destination. GM Brian Colangelo estimates the team will have about $25MM in cap room, but more could be opened to meet James’ demand for a maximum deal starting around $35MM a year.

“I think the bar is very high for us in terms of who we are going to put on this team,” said Sixers co-managing partner Josh Harris. “But on the other hand, for a certain small number of players, like we are going to go after them hard. People have asked me about the luxury tax. I don’t have any problem spending for good players.”

Pompey shares a few other notes about the Sixers’ offseason:

  • The franchise is planning to pursue Oklahoma City’s Paul George as well as James. George has expressed a desire to play in Los Angeles, but could be swayed by the young talent in place in Philadelphia. His defense and outside shooting would make him an attractive fit alongside Ben Simmons.
  • The Sixers will make a play for Spurs star Kawhi Leonard if he becomes available in trade. Leonard has a good relationship with coach Brett Brown, but Pompey cites the risk of trading for him without a guarantee that he will sign an extension. Leonard can opt out of a $20.1MM salary next summer.
  • Creating room for a max contract means renouncing the rights to free agents J.J. Redick, Amir Johnson, Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova. The Sixers could try to bring them back with the mid-level exception and minimum contracts, but they may all get better offers elsewhere. Redick signed a one-year, $23MM deal to come to Philadelphia last summer and is probably seeking a longer arrangement at age 33. Pompey expects him to get an offer in the $12MM to $15MM range. Johnson, 31, will also be searching for a long-term contract.

Sixers Notes: George, Brown, McConnell, Covington

The Sixers should pursue Paul George rather than LeBron James in free agency, contends Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. George is a better fit, Bontemps argues, because he would allow Ben Simmons to remain the primary ballhandler. Simmons is accomplished in nearly every phase of the game except for shooting and wouldn’t be effective spotting up alongside James.

George not only adds another 3-point shooter, he is a top defender who would create a smothering combination with Robert Covington. He could also serve as a second playmaker in case Markelle Fultz can’t overcome the issues that sank his rookie season.

The other benefit is age, Bontemps notes, with George about five-and-a-half years younger than James. He showed an ability to adapt to a new situation in Oklahoma City and would have plenty of prime seasons left for Simmons and Joel Embiid to develop as players.

There’s more today out of Philadelphia:

  • An extension for coach Brett Brown should be the Sixers’ first move of the offseason, writes Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider account). Brown is entering the final season of the extension he signed in 2015 and deserves to be rewarded for the adversity he has guided the franchise through, Marks argues.
  • The Sixers will be taking a risk if they exercise T.J. McConnell‘s $1.6MM option for next season, Marks adds in the same story. While that would be an easy way to preserve cap room, it would also make him an unrestricted free agent next summer. The alternative is to decline his option and extend a qualifying offer, which would throw him into restricted free agency right away. His price will go up — Marks estimates about $4MM to $5MM annually — but the Sixers can match any offer and lock him up for the long term. McConnell becomes eligible for an extension in July and can have his salary for next season negotiated with cap space beginning September 22.
  • Covington didn’t live up to his four-year, $62MM extension in the playoffs, writes Marcus Hayes of The Philadelphia Inquirer. After starting 80 games in the regular season, Covington was replaced in the starting lineup by McConnell and fell behind Justin Anderson in the rotation. The playoffs may have redefined several players’ roles, Hayes notes, and it’s possible that Covington isn’t a good fit anymore.
  • The Sixers are holding their exit interviews today, with much of the focus on the free agents. J.J. Redick, who signed a one-year deal last summer, will consider money, the chance to win and closeness to home when deciding on his next move, tweets Rich Hoffman of The Athletic. “This was probably my favorite year of my career. … Playing in Philly is its own experience. The buzz about this team was amazing,” Redick said (Twitter link from Derek Bodner of The Athletic). “We all hope that I am back. The [contract] numbers can get tricky. It’s not my job to worry about that.” (Twitter link).

Sixers Notes: Embiid, McConnell, Redick, LeBron

Sixers center Joel Embiid will begin doing light cardio work as the first step toward returning from a fractured orbital bone, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Embiid attended Friday night’s game, making his first appearance since having surgery March 31. Surgeons are examining him each day and are happy with his progress, Pompey adds, with “non-contact cardiovascular exertion steps” being planned to help him get through the league’s concussion protocol.

The Sixers didn’t let Embiid speak to reporters, but he watched his teammates during warmups and sank a few 3-pointers. He has missed five games since colliding with Markelle Fultz on March 28, and his prognosis calls for him to return in another one to three weeks.

  • T.J. McConnell‘s playing time has nosedived since Fultz returned from his injury, Pompey notes in a separate story. The reserve point guard was on the court for just 5 minutes and 27 seconds Friday against the Cavaliers, the second-shortest stint of his three-year career. The Sixers have a $1.6MM team option on McConnell for next season that must be exercised by June 29.
  • As one of the few Sixers with playoff experience, J.J. Redick will have an important role once the postseason begins next weekend, Pompey writes in another piece. This will mark the 12th straight playoff appearance for Redick, who has played 88 games with the Magic, Bucks and Clippers. The only other players in Philadelphia’s rotation with a playoff history are Marco Belinelli (48 games), Amir Johnson (42) and Ersan Ilyasova (23).
  • Sixers fans will be happy to hear that LeBron James paid them a compliment after Friday’s game, according to Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer“They love their team, they love their ball club. They come out and support,” he said. “Obviously riding the winning streak, you know, and also you add in Villanova and you add in the Eagles, obviously that helps as well but it has always been kind of rowdy coming here.” Philadelphia has been rumored as a possible destination for James when he hits free agency this summer.

Atlantic Notes: Fultz, Redick, Ntilikina, Nets

First overall pick Markelle Fultz missed 68 games due to injury and at one point, it seemed that his entire rookie year would be lost to a phantom shoulder ailment. Instead, Fultz has returned and given a spark to the Sixers the last seven games.

Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer relays that Fultz was “hurt” with the situation because he was not able to play.

“It wasn’t anything about expectations or anything,” Fultz said. “I just felt like something I loved doing I couldn’t do anymore, and it hurt for a little while.”

The 19-year-old has now appeared in 11 games this season and posted modest numbers of 6.8 PPG and 3.4 APG. However, simply being part of the team — which sits in third place in the Eastern Conference with a 49-30 record — has Fultz excited for the remainder of the regular season and beyond.

“I feel like I can help them hopefully by picking up the energy and, when they come out and feel down, just picking them up,” Fultz said. “And for me, when I’m not feeling good, they are doing the same thing for me.”

Check out more Atlantic Division notes below:

  • In a separate story, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that having a healthy Fultz play alongside Rookie of the Year candidate Ben Simmons presents an interesting lineup scenario for the Sixers. While the duo has shared the backcourt for small increments since Fultz’s return, coach Brett Brown has liked what he has seen in a small sample.
  • J.J. Redick has been part of playoff teams every season in his career but now his focus is on winning a championship, Sarah Todd of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. The Sixers are in third place and Redick thinks the team is good enough to go far in the postseason. “I don’t want to put a ceiling on our team this year,” Redic said.  “I think this group has the potential to win the Eastern Conference. Whether that’s this year or three years from now, having guys like Ben [Simmons] and Jo [Embiid], you have a chance. Those guys are that good.”
  • Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina has gained eight pounds over the course of the season and it has reflected well in his play, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.
  • Michael Scotto of The Athletic (subscription required) writes that Nets coach Kenny Atkinson sees the Sixers rebuilding model as a point of reference for the Nets. In the lengthy read, Scotto breaks down Atkinson’s view of Philadelphia and how Brooklyn views some of its young players as de facto lottery picks.

Sixers Notes: Redick, Hinkie Specials, Embiid

J.J. Redick signed perhaps the most notable one-year contract of 2017’s free agent period, inking a $23MM pact with the Sixers that allowed the team to preserve cap room for 2018. While Redick’s expiring contract gives the 76ers some flexibility to pursue a high-profile free agent this summer, the veteran sharpshooter isn’t necessarily looking to be one-and-done in Philadelphia, as Keith Pompey of Philly.com writes.

“This is something that I’ll reiterate that I said last summer when I signed here,” Redick said on Sunday. “I want this to be a long-term thing. … I love playing here. I love playing with these guys. I love playing for Brett [Brown]. This has been a fantastic experience.”

At age 33, Redick is enjoying one of the best years of his career, posting a career-best 16.7 PPG with a .445/.405/.931 shooting line. However, his future in Philadelphia may hinge on whether the Sixers need to use their projected cap room on another free agent, renouncing Redick’s massive $27MM+ cap hold. In that scenario, the team would only be able to offer Redick the remaining portion of their cap space, or their modest room exception.

Here’s more out of Philadelphia:

J.J. Redick To Miss Time With Leg Injury

J.J. Redick suffered an injury to his left leg against the Raptors on Monday which forced him to leave the game early. X-rays came back negative, but an MRI conducted on Redick earlier today revealed bone edema and a small crack in the fibular head of his leg.

As a result of the injury, Redick will remain sidelined. He’ll be re-evaluated in 10 to 14 days, according to a team press release.

The Sixers play in seven games over the next 14 days, seeing the Bucks twice as well as the Celtics, Grizzlies, Bulls, Spurs, and Thunder once apiece. Philadelphia is currently sitting outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture with a record of 20-20.

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Vinsanity, Hayward

While they may not be touted as the much anticipated products of The Process, NBA veterans like J.J. Redick, Jerryd Bayless and Amir Johnson have had a major impact on the Sixers, Ian Begley of ESPN writes.

Unlike token veterans who the Sixers have employed in the past like Jason Richardson and Elton Brand, both established players in the twilight of their careers, players like Redick, Bayless and Johnson still suit up and play for the squad every night.

To now have players sweating on the court that can add the leadership in real time, instead of something static in a video room — that is priceless,” head coach Brett Brown said. “I think the abundance we have this year and the fact that they play, the combination is powerful, and I appreciate [Sixers president and general manager] Bryan Colangelo helping me, helping us design the team with that in mind.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division: