J.J. Redick is headed to Los Angeles, signing with the Clippers in a sign-and-trade deal that also involves the Suns and Bucks. The Clippers also acquired Jared Dudley from the Suns. The Suns acquired Eric Bledsoe and the Bucks acquired two second round Draft picks.
Redick has snuck under the radar as a free agent this summer after being a solid role player for a Playoff-caliber Orlando squad and then one of its veteran leaders during its down season this past year. He was traded mid-season to the Bucks to help them in their Playoff push, but it seemed increasingly unlikely the Bucks would be able to retain him with his minutes fluctuating and Jim Boylan struggling to find a spot for him in a lineup that already had shoot-first guards in Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis.
This is a new opportunity for Redick and a return to playing for a championship team. Redick began getting significant minutes for the Magic during their 2009 Finals run and was a key player off the bench in their run to the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals. He ended up being one of the players Stan Van Gundy trusted the most.
However, a source told Crossover Chronicles that this deal to the Clippers almost did not happen. Redick was set to sign with the Timberwolves and become their starting shooting guard on a four-year deal worth nearly $27 million before the Clippers swooped back in. The source said Doc Rivers played a key role in the sudden switch and wanted Redick to join his team. Redick will sign a four-year deal worth nearly $28 million.
And he very well could fill that vacant shooting guard role — either off the bench or as a starter — that the Clippers are trying so desperately to fill.
Last year, Redick averaged career highs in minutes per game (30.5), points per game (14.1) and assists per game (3.8). Even with increased usage with Orlando, Redick shot 43.4 percent and 36.6 percent from beyond the arc. He had a career-best 16.1 PER going while he was in Orlando before the trade.
Going back to a strong team with championship aspirations should help him utilize more of his skills. It is easy to say with the kind of teammate and player he is why Doc Rivers would push so hard to get him. Redick will not put the Clippers over the top, but he will be a solid addition.
With the Clippers' domino falling, the Timberwolves acted quickly. They took the slot allotted to Redick and offered it to Kevin Martin, agreeing to a four-year, $30 million contract. Tony Allen, rumored at one time to be considering the Clippers, agreed to a four-year, $20 million deal with the Grizzlies.