J.J. Redick

Eastern Notes: Hawks, Quickley, Rubio, Celtics, Redick

The Hawks held pre-draft workouts with six college players on Thursday and will be hosting six more on Friday, the team announced (Twitter links).

Thursday’s group featured Alex Fudge (Florida), Logan Johnson (St. Mary’s), Matthew Mayer (Illinois), Kevin Obanor (Texas Tech), Antonio Reeves (Kentucky) and Hunter Tyson (Clemson), while Marcus Carr (Texas), Kendric Davis (Memphis), Tosan Evbuomwan (Princeton), Landers Nolley (Cincinnati), Drew Peterson (USC) and Erik Stevenson (West Virginia) will be working out tomorrow.

Of the players mentioned, only Evbuomwan — who helped lead the 15th-seeded Tigers to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament — appears on ESPN’s top-100 prospects list ahead of the draft; he’s considered a fringe second-round pick at No. 77. The Hawks control the 15th and 46th overall picks in June’s draft.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Trailing 3-1 and facing playoff elimination tonight, the Knicks will be without Sixth Man of the Year runner-up Immanuel Quickley for the second straight game due to a left ankle sprain, head coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters, including Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link). Thibodeau did say the third-year guard’s injury has improved, but obviously not enough to play. He’s still considered day-to-day, Begley adds. Reserve guard Evan Fournier (illness) will also be sidelined, per the Knicks (Twitter link) — the veteran has yet to play this postseason.
  • Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio didn’t have the season he was hoping for after returning from his second left ACL tear, but he and the team are hoping for better results in 2023/24, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Sources tell Fedor the Cavs are encouraging Rubio to play in this summer’s World Cup for Spain, but the veteran hasn’t made a decision on that front. “I think it will help,” Rubio said. “I’m going to meet with my team, my personal team, see what’s the best for me in rehab. I think I’ve got to get more even strength on my lower legs, lower body and see what’s the best for me. I always want to compete up. The World Cup is something special as well. But I will take my time.”
  • Former NBA veteran JJ Redick, who is now an ESPN analyst, recently interviewed for Toronto’s head coaching job. The Celtics are among “several teams” that have shown interest in hiring Redick as an assistant coach since he retired a couple years ago, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Raptors Interview JJ Redick For Head Coaching Job

Former NBA sharpshooter and current ESPN analyst JJ Redick is among the candidates who have interviewed for the Raptors‘ head coaching vacancy, according to Redick’s ESPN colleague Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca was the first to report Toronto’s potential interest in Redick.

Redick played in the NBA for 15 seasons from 2006-21, appearing in 940 total regular season games for the Magic, Bucks, Clippers, Sixers, Pelicans, and Mavericks. Known for his ability to make outside shots, he had a career three-point rate of 41.5%.

Since retiring two years ago, Redick has served only as a commentator, analyst, and podcaster, but he has previously discussed his interest in possibly getting into coaching, according to Grange.

It seems unlikely that the Raptors would hire Redick as Nick Nurse‘s replacement, given his lack of experience. Still, the fact that he got a meeting is an indication that the team is casting a wide net and keeping an open mind in its head coaching search.

As our tracker shows, Redick is at least the 11th candidate to reportedly secure an interview with Toronto.

Former Pelican J.J. Redick: Zion Williamson A “Detached Teammate”

Responding to the news that CJ McCollum hasn’t yet had a chance to speak to Pelicans star Zion Williamson since being acquired by New Orleans at this month’s trade deadline, ESPN analyst J.J. Redick expressed disbelief and criticized Williamson for not being more engaged with the team.

“This is a little bit insane to me. There’s a general decorum of behavior that you should apply as a teammate,” Redick said on ESPN’s First Take on Tuesday (video link). “Look, I wasn’t the best player on any team I was on, but if there was a buyout possibility, if there was a trade possibility, I would always reach out to teammates. I called Ersan Ilyasova, I called Marco [Belinelli], I called Wes Matthews trying to get him to come to Philly. This just shows a complete lack of investment in your team, in the organization, in the city.”

Williamson, who underwent foot surgery during the offseason, has yet to play this season and has been rehabbing away from the team since early January. However, Redick doesn’t view that as a reasonable excuse for the star forward’s lack of communication with McCollum.

“I get that he’s hurt and away from the team, but you just traded for one of the 50 best players in the league, a guy that’s supposed to be paired with you,” Redick said. “Reach out and say hello.”

[UPDATE: McCollum says he has spoken to Williamson since Saturday]

Typically, opinions from an ESPN analyst about a player aren’t particularly newsworthy, since that analyst is often sharing his two cents without any inside info on the player or the team. However, this situation is a little different.

Besides being teammates with Williamson from 2019-21 before he retired as a player, Redick is also a fellow Duke alum, a fellow CAA client, and has publicly criticized of Pelicans head of basketball operations David Griffin, as Scott Kushner of NOLA.com tweets. As such, Redick’s comments about Zion are especially eyebrow-raising.

“This is a pattern of behavior with Zion that we are seeing again and again. And look, I was his teammate. I can describe him as a detached teammate. That is an accurate statement,” Redick said. “This is basic level of humanity, being a teammate. Send a text to a guy when he gets traded to your team. That is just normal behavior. That’s the bare minimum that you have to do.

“… This is something I addressed with Zion in front of the team,” Redick later added. “This is going back to his rookie year. There’s a responsibility that you have as an athlete when you play a team sport to be fully invested. You’re fully invested in your body, you’re fully invested in your work, and you’re fully invested in your teammates. That is your responsibility, and we have not seen that from Zion.”

Williamson’s desire to play for the Pelicans has been questioned since the 2019 draft lottery, when New Orleans won the No. 1 pick over bigger-market teams like the Knicks and Lakers. One report during the 2021 offseason suggested that some of Williamson’s family members wanted him out of New Orleans, while a subsequent story claimed that Zion and Griffin aren’t on particularly great terms.

For his part, the former No. 1 overall pick has repeatedly stated that he loves playing in New Orleans, but Redick and his ESPN colleague Stephen A. Smith expressed skepticism about Zion’s long-term commitment to the franchise.

“He’s never publicly come out and said, ‘I don’t want to be in New Orleans.’ But as we know, Stephen A., because we follow the league, where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” Redick said. “You didn’t hear rumors about Giannis [Antetokounmpo] being unhappy in Milwaukee. With Zion, you’ve heard that now for the last three years.”

Williamson will be eligible for a rookie scale extension during the 2022 offseason. Although no player has ever turned down a maximum-salary rookie scale extension, it’s unclear whether the Pelicans would even be comfortable putting that sort of offer on the table, given that injuries have limited Williamson to just 85 games since he entered the league in 2019.

When the Sixers extended Joel Embiid following his third NBA season, he had only appeared in 31 career games, so the two sides agreed to include injury-related language in his max deal in order to protect the team. The Pelicans and Williamson could theoretically explore a similar arrangement, but first they’ll have to decide whether the union is one they even want to continue for the next several seasons.

“New Orleans is going to have to make some sort of decision here,” Redick said. “We’ve seen this now for three years.”

Mavericks Notes: Redick, Doncic, Brunson, Harrison

After finishing the 2020/21 season in Dallas, J.J. Redick had Early Bird rights with the Mavericks. The veteran sharpshooter ultimately ended up retiring, but he said on the latest episode of his Old Man and the Three podcast that it briefly looked like the Mavs might want to use those Early Bird rights to send him elsewhere in a sign-and-trade deal that would’ve resulted in a significant payday.

“About a week before free agency, my agent and I are talking, and I said to him, ‘I’m not ready to commit to anything right now,'” Redick said, per Dan Feldman of NBC Sports. “Teams were gauging interest. And I said, ‘I’m not ready to commit to anything, so on August 2nd, please just tell them I’ll talk to them later in the fall or early winter.’

“And he called me the next day, and he said, ‘Dallas has your rights. There’s a team that may do a sign-and-trade with them. If that’s the case, they’ve got to use you and your salary to make it work. You could make about $16 million.’ And I was like, ‘Alright, I’ll play another year.'”

Redick doesn’t offer any further details, so there are a lot of specifics we don’t know, as Feldman observes. It’s unclear which team the Mavs were talking to, which free agent they were targeting, and whether the discussed deal would’ve paid Redick a fully guaranteed $16MM in 2021/22. It’s a moot point now — as Redick notes, both teams ultimately “went in a different direction.”

Here’s more on the Mavs:

  • Dallas came into the season that adding Reggie Bullock and Sterling Brown and getting a healthy Kristaps Porzingis back in the lineup would help push the team to the next level. However, Kevin Herrington of The Dallas Morning News is skeptical that the roster tweaks will make much of a difference, writing that the Mavs will still only go as far as Luka Doncic takes them.
  • Jalen Brunson is averaging a career-high 28.6 minutes per game so far this season, and many of those minutes are coming alongside Luka Doncic. Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com takes a look at the thinking behind Jason Kidd‘s decision to have the two guards share the court more often, especially in closing lineups. “He’s learning how to play with J.B.,” Kidd said of Doncic. “You can see he’s not afraid to give J.B. the ball. There’s a good trust, good relationship between those two.” Brunson will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
  • Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News conducted a brief Q&A with Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison, asking him about Brunson’s contract situation, Porzingis’ health, and more. Harrison didn’t specifically address potential extension talks for Brunson, but said the team is happy with his performance. “The fact that he’s playing great, we want that to continue,” Harrison said. “All that does is make it easier for us. And it makes it easier for him, too.” Brunson is extension-eligible, but can’t be offered more than about $55.6MM over four years prior to free agency.

J.J. Redick Joining ESPN As Analyst

After announcing his retirement as a player last month, longtime NBA sharpshooter J.J. Redick has officially confirmed his next step — he’s joining ESPN as a basketball analyst, according to Joe Reedy of The Associated Press.

As Reedy details, Redick will contribute to a number of ESPN’s studio shows and will also work some games during the 2021/22 NBA season. He’ll make his debut in studio on November 3 during ESPN’s Nets/Hawks broadcast.

“After 15 years in the NBA, I am excited to take what I have learned on the court and be able to provide my insight and strong opinions about the game I love,” Redick said in a statement. “I am thrilled to have found a place on the biggest platform in sports, ESPN. I look forward to starting my post-playing career with such an incredible organization.”

The fact that Redick is transitioning into a media role rather than exploring a coaching role or a front office position doesn’t come as a surprise.

Even while he remained active as a player, the former Duke standout hosted his own podcast, The Old Man and the Three, and didn’t mind bluntly sharing his opinions on that platform, like when he criticized Pelicans executive David Griffin in March for the way he handled Redick’s exit from New Orleans.

J.J. Redick Announces Retirement

Longtime NBA sharpshooter J.J. Redick has announced his retirement from the league, confirming the news during the latest episode of his podcast, The Old Man and the Three (video link).

“The last 30 years of basketball have been beyond my wildest dreams,” Redick said in a prepared statement. “I never could have imagined that I would have played basketball for this long. After years of youth leagues, AAU, high school basketball, four years at Duke, and 15 years in the NBA, I’m retiring from the game that I love so much.”

Redick, 37, entered the league in 2006 as the 11th overall pick out of Duke. He spent the next 15 seasons appearing in a total of 940 regular season games for the Magic, Bucks, Clippers, Sixers, Pelicans, and Mavericks, averaging 12.8 PPG, 2.0 RPG, and 2.0 APG with a .447/.415/.892 shooting line in 25.5 minutes per contest. He also appeared in 110 postseason games, making it to the NBA Finals once with Orlando in 2009.

Redick is one of the most prolific three-point shooters in NBA history, having knocked down a total of 1,950 shots from beyond the arc. That puts him 15th on the league’s all-time list.

Redick’s final season in the NBA was marred by a heel injury, as he was limited to a total of 44 games for New Orleans and Dallas in 2020/21. In today’s announcement, he addressed his underwhelming last year

“Going into last season, I wanted it to be my last year, but wasn’t sure how the season would play out,” Redick explained. “It was difficult for a number of reasons — being injured, being away from my family, COVID protocols, and really, truly, not playing up my standards. I would like to describe last season as a seven-month exercise in coming face-to-face with my own athletic mortality, and it was scary and confusing.

“I wanted to give myself some time to reflect and figure out if I wanted to keep playing. It’s one of the reasons that I told teams that called during free agency that I would decide later on. I didn’t want to commit to anything until I was sure. I have some clarity now, and I know it’s time. It’s time for me to be a dad; it’s time for me to reflect, pause; it’s time for me to get ready for the next phase of my life.”

Redick stated last month that he didn’t plan to join an NBA team for training camp, but was still leaning toward signing later in the season and pursuing his first championship. As such, it sounds as if his decision to retire wasn’t finalized until the last few weeks.

It’s unclear whether Redick will have any interest in pursuing a coaching or front office role during the next phase of his career. Given the success of his Old Man and the Three podcast, a position in the media may be more up his alley.

Knicks Notes: Gibson, Redick, Randle, Rookies

Taj Gibson talked to several teams in free agency and some offered more money than the Knicks, but he preferred to stay in New York with coach Tom Thibodeau, writes Owen O’Brien of Newsday. Gibson re-signed for $10.1MM over two years with a team option on the second season.

“It was real frustrating, but it was a good frustrating,” Gibson said of the free agency experience. “But at the same time, I knew I made the right decision. Money doesn’t move me, I just wanted to be a Knick.”

Keeping Gibson was part of a busy offseason for New York, which added Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier in addition to re-signing several key parts of last season’s 41-31 team. Gibson said the Knicks look “really stacked” and he’s looking forward to resuming his role as one of their veteran leaders.

“They know I’m always willing and ready to play, but right now I’m just happy to be the vet on the team,” he said. “The guy that comes in and works out hard every day — but always capable — and I’m having a good time being with these young guys every day and just trying to build a culture.”

There’s more from New York:

  • Free agent guard J.J. Redick, who is rumored to have interest in joining the Knicks or Nets, doesn’t expect to be with a team when training camps open next month, relays Jenna Lemoncelli of The New York Post. Redick, who prefers to play close to his family in Brooklyn, talked about the situation on his “Old Man and the Three” podcast. “We’ll make a decision on next season — what team, what city, etc. — probably sometime in the next two or three months,” Redick said. “… But, you know, I would say, pretty much definitively, like, I won’t be in a training camp to start the season. That’s not gonna happen.”
  • Now that Julius Randle has a four-year extension in place, he wants to do everything he can to build a championship team, including serving as a recruiter in free agency, per Marc Berman of The New York Post. The Knicks had more than $50MM in cap space this summer, but didn’t land any top-tier free agents, spending most of that money to keep their own players. “I told them if they need me to help, I’ll definitely get involved,” Randle said. “At the end of the day, winning is all that matters. My biggest goal is to win a championship here in New York. Whatever I can help to make that happen, to bring a championship to the city, they need me to help and get a player, I’m confident we’re doing that for sure.”
  • Randle paid close attention to the Summer League team and said Thibodeau loves the work ethic displayed by rookies Miles McBride, Quentin Grimes and Jericho Sims, Berman adds. “When I saw those guys, man, they’re competitive and they’re skilled,” Randle said. “Those guys sound like they’re going to get in and add to our core guys.”

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!

Latest On Paul Millsap, J.J. Redick

Paul Millsap and J.J. Redick are two of the most talented unrestricted free agents left on the board, but there’s a sense that the two veterans – who are 36 and 37 years old, respectively – may not be in a hurry to pick a team for the 2021/22 season, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Redick has stated publicly that he’ll wait until sometime in the fall – or even later – to sign a new contract, and Fischer says people around the league believe Millsap will take his time too.

“I think (Millsap)’s gonna be a minimum or a midseason guy,” one source told Fischer. “What’s the rush? The money wouldn’t get much better, and he can just pick his team. What if New Orleans is really good come January? What happens when some guy gets hurt, and that team starts scrambling for a replacement? He can pick his spot.”

As Fischer observes, Millsap didn’t have much of an offseason in 2020, having reported to training camp about two months after Denver was eliminated from the playoffs in the Western Conference Finals. Facing another abridged offseason in 2021, Millsap may benefit in the long run from taking a longer break.

Here’s more from Fischer on Millsap and Redick:

  • The Warriors have been the team most frequently linked to Millsap, but he has also drawn interest from the Hawks, Nets, Pelicans, Sixers, and Timberwolves, according to Fischer, who adds that there are no indications the big man has gotten close to finalizing a deal with any of those teams.
  • Sources tell Fischer that in discussions with potential suitors, Millsap has been seeking a salary worth some or all of the taxpayer mid-level exception ($5.9MM).
  • Redick figures to draw interest from teams around the NBA, with one Western Conference head coach telling Fischer that he’d like to have the sharpshooter on his roster. However, there’s a league-wide belief that Redick is eyeing the Knicks or Nets so that he can remain close to home. Some execs have speculated that Redick could even retire if he doesn’t land with either of those teams, Fischer writes.
  • Any team with interest in adding Redick would likely want more information on the heel injury that limited him in 2020/21, says Fischer. Sources tell Bleacher Report that teams flagged that issue back at the March trade deadline when New Orleans was shopping Redick.

And-Ones: Redick, Ball, Bates, Nurse

J.J. Redick, who finished last year on the Mavericks after being traded from the Pelicans, has no plans to sign a deal before training camp, he said on a recent episode of his podcast The Old Man And The Three.

You know, I would say, pretty much definitively, like, I won’t be in a training camp to start the season,” he said. “That’s not gonna happen. So, you know, I’ll join a team at some point this season and finish the year and try to go get a chip. That’s the plan.”

Redick was vocally unhappy with what he felt were broken promises by Pelicans executive vice president David Griffin, which may have contributed to his desire to take his time in finding a new team.

We have more news from around the basketball world:

  • LiAngelo Ball feels that he proved his worth with the Hornets’ Summer League team, writes Roderick Boone of Sports Illustrated. “I feel like I belong in the league, but I know I can show more than what I did,” Ball said. “I’m not satisfied with how I played this last game, but overall it was all right.” Ball started hot in his first game, but ended up shooting 37.5% from three with more turnovers than assists. ESPN’s Jordan Schultz quotes Hornets’ assistant Jay Triano as saying: “Great kid. Love him. He was at the facility practicing everyday for two months to play in the Summer League. Shows a ton of character.”
  • High school basketball phenomenon Emoni Bates said that the fame of being on the Sports Illustrated cover – and generally being considered the top young prospect in the country from age 15 – was “fun at first,” but soon grew irritating, writes Jeff Goodman of Stadium. “The things people say definitely affect me,” Bates said. “People don’t really know me. If people knew who I really was, I don’t think they’d be saying some of the things they say.” Bates admits that he considered quitting, but said that he has finally gotten back to enjoying the game.
  • Nick Nurse will remain in his role as Team Canada’s head coach during the lead-up to the 2024 Olympics, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet. Nurse is hoping he can recruit the best of Canada’s deep crop of talented players to join him over the next three years. Grange writes that Nurse wants a core group to train next summer and be ready for the World Cup qualifiers in June and August.