The Philadelphia 76ers let J.J. Redick walk last summer. He thinks that was a mistake.
Last summer, the Philadelphia 76ers decided to reshape the roster, eschewing Jimmy Butler and J.J. Redick for Al Horford and Josh Richardson. While we have written at length about the circumstances surrounding Butler’s departure, not much has been said about Redick.
In a recent appearance on All That Smoke [NSFW], the veteran sharpshooter didn’t hold back.
When the conversation turned to Philadelphia, Redick said the Sixers “f–ed up” not bringing him back. In his first season with New Orleans, Redick averaged 15.3 points per game and shot 45.3 percent from deep.
It’s safe to say Redick is right. While his absence is far from the only malady dragging Philadelphia down, his departure was a symptom of the Sixers’ poor roster-building philosophy. Redick had the best years of his career in Philadelphia despite being in his mid-30s. His rapport with Joel Embiid is something the Sixers’ star center clearly missed.
The Sixers had every reason to run it back, but after failing to bring back Jimmy Butler (for reasons we will not litigate in this article), Redick’s days were numbered. The Sixers wanted to go big. To overpower and overwhelm teams in the paint. Redick did not fit into such plans, and the contract offered to Al Horford (following Tobias Harris’ extension) made it impossible to offer Redick fair compensation.
In the end, the Redick-less offense was starved of space and struggled to produce at the level of other contenders. Embiid had statistically his worst season yet, while Ben Simmons showed no real progression on offense. Redick’s gravity and his ability to generate looks with off-ball movement was gravely missed.
Redick’s departure was different than Butler’s. Whereas the Sixers consciously decided to move on from Butler and Butler consciously decided to move on from the Sixers, Redick seemed perfectly willing to come back. In fact, he voiced his desire to retire in Philadelphia multiple times. But Philadelphia, in a regrettable effort to zig while the NBA zagged, let Redick move south.
Philadelphia should do everything in its power to add some shooting to the roster this summer. Redick is on an expiring contract and could be had for the right price, but the Sixers will probably have to look elsewhere.