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.
|AGE||YEARS IN NBA||YEARS WITH CLIPPERS||2014-2015 SALARY||CONTRACT STATUS|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.