Dream Scenario Would Have Sent Third Sharpshooter to Warriors

Getty JJ Redick of the New Orleans Pelicans.

It’s hard to imagine the Golden State Warriors at the peak of their powers with even more shooting than the most lethal backcourt ever assembled already provided, but it’s an alternate universe that might have once existed.

Three-point specialist J.J. Redick, who retired from basketball in September following a 15-year career, participated in an ESPN press conference on Sunday, October 31 after the worldwide leader announced it had hired the former guard as an NBA analyst. Already a podcaster for several years with Bill Simmons’ Ringer network, Redick isn’t shy, nor is he one to mince words. And on Sunday, he made some fascinating “what-if” comments about missed opportunities to be a part of the Warriors organization and play alongside Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

Redick was asked if there was ever a team that he considered during his playing days and thought “…man, this team could win it all if they ever had a player like me spacing the floor.” He responded as though he’d read a transcript of the questions he would be asked before even sitting down at the microphone.

“Yeah, the Warriors for sure,” Redick said. “The Warriors.”

Redick Would Have Completed Nightmare Trio of Shooters in Golden State

Klay Thompson Steph Curry Warriors

GettyGolden State Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson chuckle during the 2016 NBA Three-Point Contest.

When pressed for further details about which Warriors team in particular he fancied, Redick elaborated, explaining the intricacies of why multiple shooters on the same team can lead the league in open looks despite their being only one ball and one player who can toss it up every possession.

“So I read this interesting stat. There was like a three-year stretch where the two players that had the most wide-open threes in the NBA were Steph and Klay,” Redick said. “That seems counterintuitive, but the reality is the more shooting you have on the court, especially if you have elite shooters, the better looks you’re going to get.”

“So the idea of — and I lived this out at different points of my career — the idea of like bringing me in as the shooting specialist doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to get open looks. It might mean more spacing for other guys. Probably the most looks I got, the best looks I got towards the tail end of my career, was when I played for three months with Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova and the 76ers when Joel went down and we just had four shooters around Ben,” Redick continued. “Shooting begets shooting. That’s how I would describe it. When I think about teams I would have liked to have been on, you go down the list, you pick a team with great shooting, I’d like to be on those teams. Would make my life a lot easier.”

Redick Contemplates What Might Have Been

JJ Redick Joel Embiid Sixers

GettyPhiladelphia 76ers guard J.J. Redick celebrates a game-winning shot with teammate Joel Embiid in 2018.

Redick ended almost every year of his career playing in the postseason, but never found the promised land.

The shooting guard appeared in 940 regular season games for six teams over the course of his NBA tenure, including the Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks and Milwaukee Bucks, though he never found his way to the Bay.

Redick made it to the NBA Finals just once, as a member of the 2009 Magic who lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 after defeating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Warriors, on the other hand, appeared in five consecutive NBA Finals last decade, winning three NBA Championships.

The sharpshooter averaged 12.8 points per game on 41.5% shooting from behind the 3-point line for his career. Redick was also an 89.2% lifetime shooter from the free-throw line, and averaged 2 assists and 2 rebounds per game, according to Basketball Reference.

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