The New Orleans Pelicans have made public that they are willing to trade veteran sharpshooter J.J. Redick. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Redick shows interest in being traded to a contender. Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Boston were the three biggest landing destinations that the guard would prefer to land.
The Boston Celtics in recent days have shown interest in acquiring the 36-year-old guard to bolster their bench. In recent years, Boston has been among the bottom half of the NBA in bench scoring. This year the team is averaging 33.6 points off the bench (23rd in the league). Redick throughout his career has been a lights-out shooter. Shooting a career average of 44% from the field and 41% from three. In his career, he spent every season up until the time he joined the Pelicans reaching the playoffs as a key contributor. Unfortunately, the Pelicans are on track to miss the playoffs once again. The team is still young, and Redick is just not on the same timeline as the rest of the team.
Redick has yet to win a championship even though he spent most of his career contending in the playoffs. His experience and offensive ability are highly sought after. When he left Philadelphia in the 2019 off-season, the 76ers became a worse shooting team. His ability to spread the floor is elite, and former teammates have nothing but praise for the shooting guard.
Boston needs a shooter off the bench. With the 23rd overall bench scoring in the league, the Celtics have shown late-game meltdowns of leads. Adding Redick would definitely help the team in theory. However, there are major flaws in acquiring the veteran. Redick is known as an elite consistent shooter, but in 16 games into the 2020-2021 season, the guard has been disappointing. The veteran is currently shooting under 40% from the field (33.6%), and under 30% from deep (29.8%). This is very unusual for Redick, as a career shooter of above 40% in both categories. It seems the shooter might be regressing from age, as Redick is 36 years old. This slump could also be due to the playstyle Stan Van Gundy is running down in New Orleans.
With his shooting being mediocre to below average this year, his trade value is low. Another problem with Redick for the Boston Celtics is that his contract is pretty large. Redick will be earning $13.5 million this year. The Celtics have a very major gap in contracts on their roster. Most of their players are either earning $20 million or more a year or are still on rookie to veteran minimums.
Trading for Redick
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are clearly off the table, but both players do make over $20 million a year. Kemba Walker who has been in other trade rumors makes $34.3 million a year. The Pelicans do have cap space to take on a larger contract than Redick’s $13 million. Trading Walker for Redick is seemingly unlikely unless another player such as Lonzo Ball or Eric Bledsoe and a pick are attached to the trade. Ball is also on the trade block, so trading Walker for Redick and Ball is a possibility.
The Celtics would most likely not make that trade unless a third team was involved to replace Walker’s offensive talents. Although a Walker for Redick trade could be likely, it seems that Boston would rather trade other assets. According to Boston.com’s Conor Roche, the team could be more willing to use part of their $28.5 million trade exception to acquire Redick. This trade would be much easier for both sides. New Orleans would receive part of the trade exception and get a young player such as Carsen Edwards or Javonte Green. In return, the Celtics will take on the large contract of Redick.
Boston should not make this trade. This team does need help off the bench, but Redick is not the answer. The team should not depart from anyone from the team such as Walker, Marcus Smart, or Tristan Thompson for Redick. The team should not have to use part of the trade exception to acquire Redick either. That trade exception should be used to acquire another all-star type of player.
Follow John Devereaux on Twitter @NBADevereaux