Elhassan: J.J. Redick A Good Free Agent Fit For Portland
By caseyholdahl Posted in: Blazers
ESPN.com Insider and former NBA scout Amin Elhassan has been writing lately about the 2013 free agent class and today he looks at five "perfect free agent fits
." He only has two criteria: that the player fit in with the current team's personnel and style of play and that the "perfect fit" team has the cap space to feasibly acquire said player. With that criteria, Elhassan writes that Bucks guard J.J. Redick would be a perfect fit for the Trail Blazers:
J.J. Redick | SG | New team: Portland Trail Blazers
Suggested contract: $26 million over 4 years (AAV: $6.5 million/year); 2013-14: $6.1 million; 2014-15: $6.4 million; 2015-16: $6.6 million; 2016-17: $6.9 million
... What the Blazers desperately lacked this season was depth; they posted one of the league's worst bench production, and were forced to play a lot of relatively inexperienced players like Luke Babbitt and Will Barton on the wings. They also lacked perimeter shooting, ranking 19th in the league in 3-point percentage this season, with only one player shooting better than 38 percent from 3-point range (Wes Matthews, 40 percent).
Redick has established himself as not only one of the premier 3-point shooters in the league (career 39.0 3-point percentage), but also as a versatile contributor as pick and roll ballhandling option and as an underrated defensive player. He'd not only add veteran leadership to an extremely young team, he'd also fill in those on-court needs and bring depth to the backcourt, either as a reserve or as a starting (sending Matthews to the bench).
Cap-wise, Portland would have to waive Jared Jeffries and Sasha Pavlovic (both fully unguaranteed deals) and renounce free agents Babbitt, Nolan Smith and Elliot Williams (high likely since their team options were all declined prior to the start of the season). They'd also have to come to terms fairly quickly with free agent Eric Maynor to reduce his cap hold to a more manageable number (my suggested contract for him was 2 years, $5 million for an AAV of $2.5 million). Taking those steps would allow them to sign Redick to a deal starting at $6.1 million, while still giving them the flexibility to make a decision on J.J. Hickson without having to renounce his rights.
Others have suggested that Redick would be a good fit in Portland, though that seems to be as far as the talk regarding acquiring the former Dukie has gone. The issues with acquring Redick as a free agent, as I seem them, are twofold.
First, in a somewhat weak free agent class, you wonder if Redick, whose skills would help most any team, might get an offer in excess of the $26 million over four years that Elhassan suggests. Secondly, with Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum both under contract, is shooting guard where the Trail Blazers should be spending their free agent money? As Elhassan notes, the bench in general is an area which needs to be addressed, so any upgrades would be welcomed, but one could argue that center (depending on how things play out with JJ Hickson's free agency) and backup point guard (depending on how things play out with Eric Maynor's free agency) might be more pressing concerns. Then again, talent is talent.