Could the Brooklyn Nets be in the market for even more offense?
The Pelicans hope so — and so does JJ Redick. New Orleans is targeting the Nets, along with other northeast teams like the Celtics and 76ers, as it explores trading the 15-year veteran, according to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
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All three teams have expressed interest in Redick, though no deal is imminent yet, Charania reported Sunday. Charania added Redick is believed to have a “strong preference” in returning to the northeast area; his family resides in Brooklyn.
The 36-year-old shooting guard is on a $13.1 million expiring contract and is averaging 7.9 points this season. He’s been a healthy scratch in each of the Pelicans’ past three games.
A former star at Duke, Redick has averaged 13.0 points over his NBA career. In his 912 career games, he’s averaged 2.1 3-pointers on 41.4% shooting from downtown.
What would Nets have to give up?
A significant piece of their rotation.
Redick’s hefty salary means the Nets would likely have to part with a player who has a similarly significant cap hit, namely DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie or Joe Harris.
Jordan is the team’s only true center, Harris is a very similar player to Redick, and Dinwiddie is recovering from a torn ACL suffered on December 27 (though he’s already back practicing on the court and hinted at his return on Sunday by captioning an Instagram post of practice highlights with, “Soon.”)
The other avenue is via a buyout of Redick’s contract. In that situation, Nets GM Sean Marks could use the disabled player exception they have for Dinwiddie, which would mean the Pelicans receive no assets in return and likely save some money instead, per The Athletic’s Danny Leroux.
Does Redick-to-Brooklyn make sense?
Redick’s primary value is as an offensive weapon that spreads the floor with his 3-point prowess.
From that standpoint, his addition to Brooklyn’s high-powered offense would appear less practical than, say, the addition of Iman Shumpert, whom the Nets signed Saturday. Shumpert, who played for the Nets last season and spent time as teammates with Kyrie Iriving and Kevin Durant before that, is known much more for his defense, an area where Brooklyn has struggled since trading for James Harden on January 13. Since that trade, the Nets have the fifth-worst defensive rating in the NBA, while Harden’s former team, the Rockets, are No. 2 in defensive rating.
Offensively, the Nets have been the league’s best since the Harden trade, leading the NBA with 127.3 points per game. They’re 6-3 over that span.
For Redick, though, Brooklyn makes all the sense in the world.
It’s where his family lives, after all. In 2015, Redick and his wife Chelsea decided to settle in Dumbo, where they have an apartment penthouse.
“We’ve established roots and built relationships here that we’ve come to cherish,” Redick told Architectural Digest in October 2019.
After he signed a two-year contract with the Pelicans in July of that year, Redick told Architectural Digest that he had “probably 20 people call or text me asking if I’m selling the apartment, and I’m like, ‘This is not our apartment. This is our home.’”
Joining the Nets would also give Redick a chance to chase a feeling that he’s been after since his Duke days.
Lakers star Anthony Davis, who won a championship last season with Los Angeles, recently called the Nets the favorites to win the Eastern Conference in light of the Harden trade.
“I set a bunch of records at Duke, but I often think about not winning a championship there and it bothers me,” Redick told the Philadelphia Inquirer in April 2018 while he was a member of the 76ers. “I think about it on a daily basis. … If it ends up that I don’t win one in the NBA it’s something I’ll think about the rest of my life. It’s just the truth. I’m bothered by it.”
In his age-36 season, he’s running out of time.
“At this point,” Redick told the Inquirer, “at the end of my career, whether it’s starting on a team, or coming off the bench, or being the 15th guy, it really doesn’t matter to me because I just want to have that feeling.”