JJ Redick trade talks seem to be all the buzz in NBA circles at the moment and smack in the thick of things looks to be the Boston Celtics. The Athletic’s Shams Charania has reported that the Cs are joined by two fellow Eastern Conference teams, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets, as potential trade destinations for the 15-year veteran.
Boston has been more than serviceable from beyond the arc this season, shooting 37.7% from the 3-point line (ninth-most in the NBA). However, questions still linger when it comes to the Celtics’ second unit. The reigns especially true with guard Marcus Smart expected to miss two to three weeks with a calf injury.
Plus, acquiring a sharpshooter such as Redick to come off the bench could only be painted as a positive right? Well, not quite.
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Redick’s Injuries & Sliding Production Pose Huge Questions
The New Orleans Pelicans look primed to break up their backcourt and Boston’s infamous $28.5 million trade player exception from the Gordon Hayward sign-and-trade makes them logical players in swinging a deal.
Redick, a wily veteran, has the look of a perfect trade deadline acquisition for a championship-contending team. Or at least one would think. The Athletic’s Jared Weiss is not so certain a move for the 36-year-old guard is in the best interest of the Celtics, citing injuries, dwindling production and trade compensation as reasons to be wary.
That leaves a big question for the Celtics: How much draft compensation should they surrender? The Celtics have long held a policy of not trading first-round picks for veteran help during the season, something further complicated by Redick’s horrendous performance this season, which may be connected to lingering hamstring soreness that has plagued him over the past year. With Redick turning 37 in June, it’d be a big gamble to bet that the injury problems will fade away.
Is Redick Worth the Gamble?
Owning a 41.4% 3-point field goal percentage over his career, Redick has proven lethal from beyond the arc. That was the case in 2019-20, when the Pelicans guard knocked down 45.3% of his shots from deep, the second-best percentage amongst all NBA players that season. Yet, Redick has hit quite the slump this season, shooting a horrendous 29.8% from 3-point range while dealing with both hamstring and knee ailments of late.
Yet, despite the potential drawbacks of acquiring an aging, underperforming guard, Weiss believes taking a swing at Redick could potentially prove a homerun move for both him and the Celtics.
It’s clear Redick still can be the missing piece for a team with championship aspirations. But with the way he is shooting right now, it’s hard to justify the opportunity cost of using nearly half of the Hayward trade exception on a one-year rental. Trading for Redick would then take the Celtics out of the market for any of Orlando’s starters, or any other starting-caliber player in his prime on a bloated enough contract to make his ascertainable with the Celtics’ now-average trade asset collection. But if the Celtics are confident Redick will be rejuvenated and healthy in a competitive situation, the opportunity cost may be worth it to secure one of the game’s great shooters.
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