With the NBA trade deadline a little over a month away, the Philadelphia 76ers are taking all the necessary precautions.
Speaking with The Athletic’s Jackson Frank this week, Sixers guard JJ Redick revealed a funny superstition that the team has. Redick said that the last four players to sit next to guard TJ McConnell on the team flights all got traded, so he now sits next to McConnell on flights since he has veto power over trades.
Last night, JJ Redick told me he started sitting next to TJ McConnell on flights after the Jimmy Butler trade because the last 4 guys to do so got traded and he can veto any trade.
While Redick did not specify which players were victimized by the seat next to McConnell, Philly’s trade for Jimmy Butler in November sent Dario Saric, Robert Covington, and Jerryd Bayless packing. Justin Anderson and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot were also dealt in a trade for Mike Muscala this summer.
JJ Redick was not happy with the media’s constant coverage of Markelle Fultz’s struggles last season.
Redick was a guest on “The Lowe Post” podcast that was released on Thursday. In the podcast, Redick shared his feelings on his Philadelphia 76ers teammate being targeted by the media. He talked specifically about the incident in February when he called out the media.
Here were his February comments:
And here’s what Redick said to Lowe about the matter.
“I think what made me angry that particular day — and it had been festering — was the way in which people were physically covering him,” Redick told Lowe. “Every time we opened the doors to the media, you’d see this mad rush to get prime footage location. Everybody would get their cell phones out and they’d get their cell phones out and record him. At that point we’d seen months of him shooting. On that particular day, Bryan Colangelo was giving a press conference and after that they all come in with body language like they were vultures preying over a dying, decaying body. The kid was 19, he’s clearly going through something. And I got angry, and I verbalized that anger — maybe I shouldn’t have — and I cussed them out.”
Redick shared why he was particularly protective of Fultz.
“That’s my guy. He was my rookie. I was protective and, also empathetic. Whatever he was going through, physically or mentally, as an athlete, we’ve all been there. There’s varying degrees of extremes to that, but we’ve been there. And I was empathetic to that.”
Fultz’s rookie season was nothing short of a disaster. He struggled with his shot — which may or may not have been related to a shoulder injury — and he only played in 14 games. His status for much of the season was a mystery to most. There was even a big controversy over his trainer.
Redick re-signed with the Sixers over the offseason, while Fultz will be back for his sophomore campaign. Some folks are predicting a big year for Fultz, including Redick, who sees a breakout season in store.
JJ Redick spent four seasons with a Los Angeles Clippers team that once looked like it was poised to contend for NBA championships, but to say things never worked out would be an understatement. According to the veteran sharpshooter, immaturity was one of the biggest reasons for that.
Redick was a guest on the “Pardon My Take” podcast recently, and he was asked about the well-documented issues the Clippers had during his time there. He indicated there was some adolescent-style drama going on behind the scenes, though he had a different way of describing it.
“It was weird because separately everybody was really cool with each other, off the court everybody sort of got along. And then, there was just so much pettiness, it was just pettiness,” Redick said, as transcribed by Dane Carbaugh of NBC Sports. “It’s weird to think what we had the potential to accomplish and what ultimately derailed that was pettiness. Like, Donald Trump-level pettiness.”
Redick also said players were guilty of a lot of “passive aggressive bulls—,” and he that he wasn’t an exception.
On paper, the Clippers were loaded with talent at one point. You almost need a “Big Three” to compete in today’s NBA, and they had that in Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Mix in role players like Redick and Jamal Crawford, and L.A. should have had a lot more success than never advancing beyond the second round of the playoffs. But judging by how Redick remembers things, Griffin’s ex may not have been that off with the way she described the big man’s relationship with his former teammates.
JJ Redick is issuing a mea culpa after uttering a perceived racial slur.
In a post to his official Twitter page on Sunday, the Philadelphia 76ers guard apologized after he appeared to use a derogatory term for Chinese people in a Chinese New Year-themed video. In his statement, Redick said that he meant to say “NBA Chinese fans” but tried to change it mid-sentence to “NBA fans in China,” which resulted in an unfortunate tongue slip.
The video, which featured many other NBA players wishing a Happy Chinese New Year to fans in China, began circulating earlier in the day after a YouTube user brought attention to it. It was not an official NBA production however.
A Chinese YouTuber is upset at J.J. Redick after he used a racial slur while wishing Chinese fans a happy new year. pic.twitter.com/1goQjj1WBi
Granted, the 33-year-old Redick has never been known as a particularly strong defender during his 11-year NBA career. But he is effective within the team dynamic and has been a difference-maker on both ends during his first season in Philly, despite whatever reputation he may have.
There is one bit of ecletic wisdom that has truly stuck with me over the years. Perhaps it is from the Bible. Perhaps it is advice that was given to me by my fifth-grade teacher. Or perhaps I once saw it tattooed on Nick Young’s left arm. In any case however, it is an adage that has helped guide me through times of uncertainty, self-doubt, and offensive stagnancy alike, and it is this: [clears throat for dramatic emphasis] … shooters shoot. Yes, this is the foundational principle upon which I choose to live my life, and here are the NBA players who best embody it in its purest and most unadulterated form.
*Stats courtesy of NBA.com and Basketball Reference*
10. Jodie Meeks, SG, Washington Wizards
The veteran sharpshooter missed 125 games over the past two seasons due to injury, but let’s not forget what he’s capable of when healthy. Whether he’s hedgehogging around screens or springing free for spot-up opportunities, Meeks changes the geometry of the court as defenses contort to cover him. His reputation has been well-earned. A 2013-14 season where he netted 2.1 treys a night for the LA Lakers on 40.1 percent shooting offered a window into his upside, and it’s only a matter of time before he recovers his pre-injury form now that he is playing with a world-class creator like John Wall in Washington. Blessed is the Meeks, for he shall inherit the earth.
J.J. Redick was very, very close to turning the Philadelphia 76ers down in free agency to join the Houston Rockets.
The sharpshooter told the HoopsHype podcast that he originally made contract length his number one priority, and planned to join the Rockets when they gave him a four-year offer — but a late change in the situation gave him pause.
“They offered four [years] and then they went three,” Redick said, via Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype. “Daryl [Morey] always has a million things going on, like in A Beautiful Mind with all of the stuff written on the chalkboard. I’m sure he had four or five deals out there [he was working on]. The day before free agency, I thought it was a four-year deal. Chris Paul and I talked for about 30 minutes the night before free agency started. I wanted to go there.
“Some of it was numbers and some of it was other factors like relocating the family and – I hate to say this – but you never know with Daryl and how he operates. A three-year deal could really be a six-month deal if you get dealt at the trade deadline for a superstar as part of a package of six.”
Redick also said Houston was willing to pay him more total money, but you can see the other factors that went into his decision. It’s interesting that Morey’s reputation as an active, risk-taking GM may well have cost him Redick.
“It wasn’t about the money,” said Redick. “Houston offered me more money than Philly, total money. They offered me more money. I knew in Houston, I was gonna come off the bench. Me and Eric Gordon do a lot of the same things. We were gonna play some minutes together. He would get to finish some games, maybe I would get to. But it wasn’t necessarily gonna be what I wanted at this point in my career for the court part of it.”
Redick ultimately signed a one-year, $23 million deal with the Sixers.
Now the “total money” distinction is important, as it seems likely that Redick received an offer from Houston worth more money over more years with a lower average annual value. But either way, the Rockets would have given him an immediate opportunity for contention, the chance to reunite with longtime LA Clippers teammate Chris Paul, and the allure of no state income tax that might have made any difference in dollars almost negligible.
This NBA offseason has been the most memorable in years — perhaps ever. Stars like Jimmy Butler and Paul George have been traded; others, like Gordon Hayward and Chris Paul, have changed locations through free agency.
Give the rest of the league credit: no one is backing down from the Warriors, who are in the conversation for the best team ever. Many teams are doing what they can to win now — not two or three years down the road.
In addition to the aforementioned stars, quite a few impact players have signed new contracts this offseason. And even though the cap ended up being much lower than expected ($99 million), that hasn’t stopped teams from dishing out more than they should.
This article does not intend to condemn any of the below signings. In many cases, in fact, the moves were well-received, and the players seem to fit quite nicely with their roster.
Though a player was a good signing, however, does not mean he was obtained at an appropriate price. If you need a blender, a new Vitamix might significantly improve your quality of life, but that doesn’t justify you paying $800 for it if you could get the same value from a $400 Magic Bullet.
We know Kevin Durant intentionally took a pay cut to chase more rings, but it’s still startling to consider that some of the following players are getting paid more than he is ($26.5 million a year).
Here are eight players who became overpaid when they signed new contracts this offseason:
8. Paul Millsap (three years, $90 million, Denver)
This is an example of an excellent fit — We advocated for Denver to sign Millsap before free agency — but a bad contract. It’s good that Denver got Millsap to take only three years — he’s 32 years old — but, for a team that should probably be rebuilding, his salary figure is huge.
The Nuggets have some nice pieces: Millsap, Nikola Jokic, Kenneth Faried, Jamal Murray, Emmanuel Mudiay. They are not, however, in a place to contend in the loaded Western Conference. What is their best-case scenario? The No. 7 seed and a first-round exit?
Like it or not, a team’s best bet in the modern NBA is to either be one of the top teams or one of the worst. Look at the 76ers and Lakers. They bottomed out and re-tooled, and their future now looks bright. The Lakers have absurd cap space and are in position to make LeBron James a compelling offer next offseason.
The Nuggets had a chance to do so with the exit of Danilo Gallinari. Some notable free agents and draft prospects will be available in 2018. Instead, they handcuffed themselves by giving $30 million a year to Millsap.
7. Serge Ibaka (three years, $65 million, Toronto)
Ibaka is only 27 (supposedly), but it’s been challenging to pinpoint his value since he was traded from Oklahoma City in June 2016. In that trade, Orlando surrendered Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova, and the draft rights to Domantas Sabonis. Since then, the Thunder have flipped Oladipo and Sabonis for Paul George. In other words: Oklahoma City won that trade, big time.
Ibaka’s key defensive numbers have been on a steady decline since 2012. For example, in 2011-12 he averaged 3.1 more blocks per game than he did with Toronto this past season (4.8 as compared to 1.7).
Ibaka has nine NBA seasons under his belt, and though his offensive game has been consistent and he remains a useful piece, it’s difficult to understand how he’ll deserve nearly $22 million a year over the next three years.
6. Blake Griffin (five years, $173 million, L.A. Clippers)
What do we make of Blake Griffin? The contract he signed with the Clippers — which averages out to $34.6 million a year — implies he’s one of the best players in the NBA. And at one point in his career, Griffin most certainly was. He finished third in MVP voting in 2014.
It’s no secret Griffin’s game changed last year. He’s no longer the high-flying, rim-destroying freak athlete who kept Vine in business for years early in his career. To his credit, he has reinvented himself. He has a nice outside game now.
Still, Griffin has been plagued by injuries since 2015, and it would be surprising if he could stay on the court for more than 70 games a year, something he hasn’t done since 2013-14. He’s also still recovering from toe surgery and will probably be unavailable until December.
If you’re mortgaging your team’s future on a star — which the Clippers are by giving Griffin this mammoth deal — you need him to be on the court. L.A. took a big risk with Blake and gave him more money, and a longer-term deal, than pundits expected.
5. Kyle Lowry (three years, $100 million, Toronto)
Yep — Toronto overpaid for both Ibaka and Lowry, who are represented by the same agent.
Lowry wrote a nice piece for The Players’ Tribune about why he chose to stay in Toronto. The gist of it is in the headline: “Home.” He and his family feel at home in T-Dot, and he wasn’t ready to leave.
Lowry certainly had options. A number of teams needed point guards, and he was either the best or second-best (depending on how you rank him and Paul) PG on the market. Rumors linked him to Minnesota, where he would team up with the promising young core of Butler, Andrew Wiggins, and Karl-Anthony Towns. Minnesota missed out on Lowry but landed Jeff Teague.
Toronto probably made the right move keeping Lowry around — what else are the Raptors supposed to do right now except put their best product on the court and hope Cleveland falls apart? — but his price tag was astronomical.
His win shares dipped from 11.6 to 10.1 this past season, and his usage percentage dipped from 26.1 percent to 24.9 percent. Lowry is still an excellent player, but he’s 31, and small guards traditionally do not age well. The Raptors are becoming DeMar DeRozan’s team.
Toronto would have been positioned much better if it had gotten Lowry on a deal more like Ibaka’s ($22 million a year instead of $33).
“My hope is this is a long-term thing and that I’m here three or four years and can finish my career as a Sixer,” said Redick. “I really believe this is a team that over the next three or four years will become the best team in the East. I hope I’m sort of part of that rise just beyond this year because I think we can be a playoff team and I think in the next two or three years we can contend for conference championships and hopefully at some point NBA championships.”
While the 33-year-old Redick only signed a short-term deal with the Sixers (one-year, $23 million), he joins a roster that is indeed on the rise in a weak Eastern Conference and one that badly needs his three-point shooting and veteran leadership. Redick will be entering his 12th NBA season in 2017-18, and what better way to ride out his career than by soaring with the FEDS.