With NBA Free Agency set to begin on July 1st, rumors are already beginning to surface. J.J. Redick made it known that he was unhappy when the Orlando Magic decided to trade him at this season’s trade deadline. After a first-round playoff exit with the Milwaukee Bucks, Redick is leaning toward leaving for another team via free agency.
A sharp-shooter such as Redick is a luxury for any NBA team, but here is a few teams that he would fit in best with.
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
If Minnesota can retain the services of restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic and acquire Redick, they throw themselves right in the thick of Western Conference. Ricky Rubio will be 100% by the time the 2013 season begins, along with Kevin Love. New GM Flip Saunders has publicly stated that he will not trade Love, which should make the Wolves a more interesting potential landing spot for free agents.
With a point guard that distributes the ball and opens up shots for teammates the way Ricky Rubio does, an All-NBA caliber power forward in Love, and a well above-average center in Pekovic, Redick would be a natural fit. The inside presence of Minnesota’s front court along with Rubio’s creativity would open up plenty of open looks for Redick. He would also be in a starter’s role, rather than the reserve role he played in Milwaukee.
2. Chicago Bulls
Chicago is likely to be right back in title contention if Derrick Rose can return to his MVP form more than a calender year removed from his ACL tear. With Rose’s ability to penetrate, Joakim Noah’s presence in the paint, and solid play from Carlos Boozer, the Bulls will need someone else to stretch the floor. Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler are capable three-point shooters, but Redick’s consistency will add a different dimension to Chicago’s offense.
Redick’s lack of elite athleticism would likely be hidden well by Tom Thibodeau’s defensive schemes, and he would likely be able to quickly adapt to team defense rather than simply one-on-one man-to-man. Chicago’s defensive superiority as a whole would allow Redick to focus mainly on his greatest ability, shooting.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder
Depending on what Oklahoma City decides to do with unrestricted free agent Kevin Martin, Redick could be a capable replacement, possibly even an upgrade. It is unclear whether he would be in a reserve role to spell the likes of Thabo Sefolosha or he would be a part of the starting five.
Regardless, Redick would be a great third scoring option for the Thunder, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Scott Brooks’ run-and-gun offensive philosophy fits right into Redick’s strengths. Durant and Westbrook’s ability to create their own offense and draw double teams would open up plenty of looks for Redick. A core of Durant, Westbrook, Redick, and Serge Ibaka could be a scary asset for the dangerous Thunder team.