Examining why the New Orleans Pelicans shouldn’t trade their veteran sharpshooter
J.J. Redick is 36 years old. He’s owed just over $13 million next season, second-highest on the team to Jrue Holiday. But the New Orleans Pelicans shouldn’t look to trade their best three-man this offseason.
Coming off a down 3-point shooting season in Philly, Redick broke the New Orleans Pelicans franchise record for 3P% in a season shooting 45.3% which bested Eric Gordon’s mark of 44.8%. Let’s take a look beyond his numbers though.
While the New Orleans Pelicans floundered in the bubble with a truly egregious performance, the 36-year old, 14-year NBA veteran played his heart out. Redick took pride in 13-straight playoff appearances. Even in the dying embers of the last San Antonio Spurs matchup, he continued to bury threes, racking up a team-high 31 points off the bench. All of this from a guy who has already been paid.
Redick did everything in his power to provide this team a winner’s mentality, even if it didn’t show in the final standings. He added a vocal leader on the floor to a Pelicans team that has struggled to find one. He is the embodiment of success and perseverance. The New Orleans Pelicans would be foolish to trade him for younger assets.
This young team needs that winning mentality and leadership, sure. But J.J.’s value extends beyond moral victories. As stated earlier, J.J. Redick registered the best 3-point shooting season in New Orleans Pelicans history.
No one in the NBA creates their shot like J.J. Years of ball-denying defense has created the most unusual, off-balanced shooting repertoire in the NBA today. Not only is J.J. an NBA novelty, but he’s also an effective one.
Redick posted career highs in eFG% and True Shooting %. He also provides the 29th-best free throw-shooting team nearly a 90% hit rate at the line. While the Pelicans ranked 7th in the NBA in 3P% (J.J. has something to do with that), their second best, and only other, 3-point specialist is E’Twuan Moore.
There are issues with the Pelicans roster, but J.J. is not one of them. Focus on drafting/signing a stretch big and clear the lane for Zion Williamson and company to get to the basket. Sign more shooters. Hire a smart coach. Don’t trade away a great sharpshooter before we get to see the Pelicans in 2020-21 action.