“Having a truly gravity-elite shooter truly changes the dynamic for Ben (Simmons) and Joel (Embiid),” Philadelphia 76ers’ president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said in November. “Those who’ve watched the Sixers up close… know that when Joel (Embiid) and Ben (Simmons) have had that, it’s actually insane how good those lineups and how good those teams played when everyone was healthy.”
Morey was explaining the thinking behind his draft-night trade for Seth Curry, but the “gravity-elite shooter” he referred to was JJ Redick. Now, a little less than two months before the March 25 trade deadline, it appears a Redick-Sixers reunion is a possibility.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Sunday that the New Orleans Pelicans “have focused on the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, and Boston Celtics as potential trade destinations for Redick,” and that all three teams have expressed interest in the 36-year-old. “No deal is imminent yet,” Charania reports.
Though Redick hasn’t shot well early this season (33.6% from the floor, 29.8% from three-point range), he has a tremendous shooting track record and meshed very well with Sixers stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons during his 2017-19 stretch with the team. Redick, Embiid, Simmons lineups had an outstanding plus-15.2 net rating in 2,392 possessions during the 2018-19 season, and a plus-17.2 mark the year before.
Redick also has past success with Sixers head coach Doc Rivers, averaging 15.8 points and shooting 44.0 percent from three-point range during his four season stretch with the Clippers.
In terms of potential offensive fit, the concerns are negligible. Defense would likely be a worry, as it sometimes was during Redick’s time under former Sixers head coach Brett Brown. The Sixers’ bench, with the exception of Matisse Thybulle, is not stocked with top-notch defenders. Regardless of whether he eventually found his shooting stroke, Redick would undoubtedly add solid veteran know-how.
Redick in the final season of a two-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans and set to make $13 million in 2020-21. His salary could prove a deterrent for the Sixers, although a deal would be workable. While a Danny Green and Redick swap likely wouldn’t make sense, the Sixers could theoretically send the Pelicans multiple end-of-bench pieces to match salaries.
Notably, the Sixers have the majority of their taxpayer mid-level exception remaining, approximately $4.8 million, which could become relevant with a buyout candidate like Redick.