New Orleans Pelicans: Three free agents that could replace JJ Redick

J.J. Redick on the New Orleans Pelicans.(Photo by Julio
J.J. Redick on the New Orleans Pelicans.(Photo by Julio /
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New Orleans Pelicans
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Pelicans Target #2- Dakota Mathias

Dakota Mathias played eight games for the Philadelphia 76ers this season before being waived in mid-January. He saw a lot of minutes when most of the Sixers’ players could not play because of health and safety protocols, scoring 12 and 14 points against the Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks respectively.

Mathias was originally signed by the Sixers because of his three-point prowess. The 6-foot-4 guard shot nearly 40 percent from three during his one year in the G League and shot 42 percent over his four years at Purdue. But outside of some perimeter scoring, it’s hard to see what Mathias can do at the next level.

He is a subpar athlete in terms of size, athleticism, and strength. Outside of attacking closeouts, Mathias cannot create his own shot consistently and he isn’t a playmaker either. He doesn’t bode well in terms of defense either, which is a big no-no for Stan Van Gundy.

You might be asking yourself why Mathias is even on this list if he can’t handle, defend, create, and only shot 31 percent from three while on the Sixers. The answer is that Mathias is clearly on NBA radars.

After being waived by the Sixers, Mathias will be joining the likes of Isaiah Thomas and Joe Johnson on Team USA for the AmericaCup qualifiers at the end of February. That makes him unlikely to return to the G League this season, meaning that he should be available on the market.

Mathias represents a low-risk play for the New Orleans Pelicans, especially if there is no onus placed on making the playoffs. In a best-case scenario, he could return to the scorching hot outside shooting that he showed in the G League and college, giving the Pelicans a floor spacer at virtually no cost. In the worst-case scenario, his shooting doesn’t translate to the NBA where there is less margin for error and he doesn’t play—but that’s what is happening with Redick already, anyways.