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2014-2015 Exit Interviews: J.J. Redick

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In his second season as the starting shooting guard for the Los Angeles Clippers, J.J. Redick produced a career year. In this edition of Exit Interviews, we'll look back at his great season and forecast what might come next.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In just his second season with the Los Angeles Clippers after being acquired via trade in the summer of 2013, J.J. Redick proved his worth tenfold with his great play and uncanny ability to sink perimeter shots at an extremely high rate. While he struggled in the final three games of the team’s season, it still doesn’t take away from what he accomplished this year. As we examine his Exit Interview, it is best to be reminded that Redick was a critical cog of the team.

VITALS
AGE YEARS IN NBA YEARS WITH CLIPPERS 2014-2015 SALARY CONTRACT STATUS
30
9 2 $6,792,500 Under contract for two more years and $14,462,500 total.

Redick is currently 30 years old but will be turning 31 late in June. The 24th, to be exact. Despite his age, his motor is nonstop and his ability to move around the court in a whirlwind fashion is destined to be admired by all. On top of Redick turning 31 years old soon, he has completed nine seasons in the NBA and will be going into his tenth next year. Shooters age well for the most part and he’s a guy who is constantly in peak physical condition so he should be okay going forward. His contract is very friendly and will be just $7,085,000 next season while his final season, the 2016-2017 campaign, will see him getting paid $7,377,500. Well worth it for him.

IN A NUTSHELL
PPG RPG APG FG% 3P% FT% WS/48 PER TS% eFG%
2014-2015 16.4 2.1 1.8 .477 .437 .901 .134 16.2 .622 .583
CAREER 10.8 1.9 2.0 .441 .400 .888 .130 14.5 .590 .540

After starting the season with a dismal first three games, J.J. Redick turned it around to complete his best season to date. He posted career highs in points per game, field goal percentage, three-point percentage, Effective Field Goal Percentage, True Shooting Percentage, Win Shares, three-pointers attempted, and three-pointers made. There were only six players this season to accumulate 2000 minutes played and post an Effective Field Goal Percentage of at least .580 and a True Shooting Percentage of at least .600. Three of the six players were centers. Those guys being Tyson Chandler, Rudy Gobert, and DeAndre Jordan. The three non-centers were Stephen Curry, Kyle Korver, and – you guessed it – J.J. Redick. And only Curry scored more points than Redick did out of that entire group of six.

In one of the most impressive stretches of the season, Redick only missed one single free throw from January 1st all the way until April 1st. That stint spanned an astounding 76 free throw attempts. That’s right, he went 75-for-76 from the line over that span and actually ended the regular season going 94-for-97 from the line in the new year. Among players that attempted at least 20 free throw attempts over that stretch, Redick’s 96.9 percent from the line led the league. Redick had a solid playoff run, as well, averaging 14.9 points on 43.5 percent from the field, 39.8 percent from three, and 94.3 percent from the line. He also had to guard the likes of James Harden in the second round and was one of the key reasons the runner-up in the MVP voting shot under 40 percent in the series.

STRENGTHS
Shooting. Shooting. Shooting. Redick is a fantastic shooter and boasts a career three-point percentage of 40.0 percent while having attempted 2175 of them. He moves very well off of screens, through traffic, and never gives up in an effort to get open. He’s deadly whenever he’s left wide open. According to the SportVu data, Redick shot 45.8 percent on uncontested threes – when a defender is 4+ feet away – this season. On pure catch-and-shoot threes, Redick shot 45.4 percent. He’s also an incredibly lethal mid-range shooter, converting on 50.7 percent of his attempts in the 16-to-24 foot range. The man can shoot.

One of the things he’s gotten better at over the years has been his ability to attack off the dribble when a defender gets caught closing out too hard. Redick has mixed in a floater and has a nifty around-the-basket game. Redick shot an amazing 60 percent from eight feet and closer this season. He also shot 55 percent on those same shots when a defender was within three feet. Redick isn’t just a shooter anymore. He’s a scorer that never stops moving and bends the defense to his will by using his intelligence and motor.

Redick has also turned himself into a solid to good team defender and a solid to good individual defender. He’s obviously best known for his guarding of Harden during the playoffs but Redick has done an admirable job on most anyone he gets to guard. He sticks with them, crowds them defensively, and doesn’t foul at a high rate. It’s pretty important, really, that a guy as good as he is offensively not get suckered into fouls defensively. He avoids them and still does a good job on that end most of the time. Redick’s passing has also improved to the point that he can drop the ball off to bigs on backdoor cuts when their defender steps up to stop his floater or layup. Oh, and he still is one of the best charge takers in the league. According to the fine people at Hoops Manifesto, Redick took 12 charges this season, which tied for the 13th most taken in the NBA.

WEAKNESSES
If there were things that you could point to as things that Redick could definitely improve up on going forward, two of them would be that he could be a little bit better taking his man off the dribble and a better overall defender. But, let’s face it, Redick is who he is. This was his ninth season in the league and we knew what he could and couldn’t do out there. He’s not the most athletic guy in the world from a freak athlete standpoint but he is one of the best conditioned and hardest working. If he was able to take guys off the dribble a little bit better, it could open up the floor for other guys if he were to suck defenders in towards him.

Asking Redick to become a better overall defender is even tougher since he does a solid to good job as it already is. However, if he were able to stay in front of guys just a little bit more instead of getting bullied backwards on any type of post-up or straight line drive, that would do a lot of good for some of the Clippers help defenders. They could stay at home more and not have to help out as much as they have in the past. Still, as stated, he’s fine there. We know what he is. It’s hard for a zebra to change its stripes after so long. Redick will certainly work on these two things in the offseason and we’ll likely see improvements very soon.

FUTURE WITH CLIPPERS
There is absolutely zero doubt in this writer’s mind that J.J. Redick will be back with the Los Angeles Clippers for the 2015-2016 season and see himself as the starting shooting guard again. He was too good, too valuable, and too durable this season to look elsewhere. His first season with the Clippers hit a huge speedbump when he got injured, but this past season he shined and showed why the Clippers wanted him so badly. He fits perfectly next to Chris Paul and the duo makes up one of the best backcourts in the entire league. There’s zero doubt Redick is here next season.

The interesting part comes in two years when he’s a free agent, though. That will be the time to watch since Redick will be 33 years old when he hits free agency and there’s no telling if the Clippers would want him back. Of course, that all depends on future production and how well the Clippers believe he’s holding up in both fitting with the team and his body. He has said in the past that he might retire when his contract runs out but we’ll see if he holds firm to that. Either way, be thankful this man is on our team and we should be looking forward to next season as he continues to build on his success from this season.