July 03, 2017
After weeks of rumors, the Sixers went ahead and signed J.J. Redick on Saturday to bomb threes and give Mssrs. Embiid, Simmons, and Fultz some room to operate on offense. And after years of negative national press, The Process is starting to get some props.
The latest Sixers news received positive feedback almost across the board from national writers. A major reason for that was the Sixers getting Redick to agree to only a one-year contract. At ESPN Insider, Kevin Pelton mentions a rival shooting guard as one of the Sixers’ main targets next offseason when Redick’s contract comes off the books.
This year, there were tons of Redick rumors; the Avery Bradley rumors for 2018 have already started:
As Redick gets deeper into his 30s and loses athleticism, his size may become more of a defensive shortcoming. That may be some other team's problem, depending what Philadelphia is able to do in free agency next summer. I'd expect Avery Bradley, a plus defender who's also six and a half years younger than Redick, to be the 76ers' No. 1 target. They could also find a shooting guard in the draft or in-house with the development of Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. Either way, Philadelphia will have a better idea of what it's willing to commit to Redick or another veteran in a year.
Over the next few weeks, you’re going to hear a certain word that begins with P thrown around in reference to the Sixers (and not, it’s not “patellar,” not yet anyway). At The Ringer, Jonathan Tjarks made the case that the Sixers could make the playoffs next season:
Redick and Robert Covington, who shot 33.3 percent from 3 on 6.2 attempts per game last season, will stretch out the defense, and Covington has quietly turned himself into one of the better perimeter defenders in the league. Their starting five fits together on both sides of the ball, which is the first time that can be said for any Philly lineup in some time. The bench, other than Dario Saric, is still a collection of question marks, and Simmons and Embiid have to prove they can stay healthy, but the pieces are in place for them to be competitive.
I will probably write about the prospect of the Sixers in the playoffs later this week, but their own roster improvements combined with three playoff teams from last year (Chicago, Indiana, and Atlanta) starting to rebuild makes that a very real possibility. SB Nation’s Tom Ziller brought up that very same point:
Philly has an opening in a weak East. Three 2017 playoff teams -- the Hawks, Bulls, and Pacers -- are at serious risk of falling out of the bracket. The only outside team who will be penciled into the postseason by just about everyone is Miami, based on their epic run in the back half of last season. More importantly, the Sixers' fun factor is going to rachet up. Joel Embiid is a showman, and he's going to milk Redick's exploits for all that they are worth.
Sports Illustrated’s Rob Mahoney gave the signing a B+, touching on how the contract benefits both the team and player:
Redick, who just turned 33, only has so many cracks left at big-money free agency. Here he delays the pursuit of a long-term contract for an immediate payday worth more than he would likely have landed in the average salary of a multi-year deal. Yet the Sixers, while spending big, don’t cause any damage whatsoever to their short- or long-term outlook.
CBS Sports’ James Herbert touched on the idea of leadership, and how Redick can bring just that to this young Sixers roster:
The newest Sixer is not necessarily going to turn Nik Stauskas into Redick 2.0 (though that would be great, wouldn't it?), but he is the kind of leader a team like Philadelphia needs. Not only is he an excellent communicator, as you're probably aware if you've listened to his podcast; his words will have value because he is still effective and makes his teammates better. Redick is detail-oriented in his preparation, competitive as hell and renowned for his professionalism. Few players are better conditioned or adept at executing the coaching staff's game plan.
And finally, Bleacher Report’s Josh Martin wrote about the idea of Philadelphia becoming a free-agent destination in 2018:
For all of the talk about the Los Angeles Lakers being major players on the free-agent market next summer, the 76ers might be in better position to strike. Their roster could be both more formidable at the top and deeper all the way through. And whereas getting through the Western Conference playoff bracket with the Lakers would require a gauntlet-like run—with the Warriors reigning supreme and the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves among those giving chase—Philly should have access to a smoother path through the weaker East.
2. Twitter Reaction: Sixers fans are pretty happy that Redick is a Sixer.
3. Perfect fit: Redick’s three-point shooting is precisely what the doctor ordered for the Sixers.
4. Iggy Bomb: Former Sixer Andre Iguodala is out here scooping reporters on Twitter.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann
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