The offseason trade that sent J. J. Redick from the Milwaukee Bucks to the Los Angeles Clippers barely made the needle move on the sports radar. But this move could pay off for the Clippers. As a resident of Central Florida and a frequent viewer of the Orlando Magic games both in person and on TV, I have seen Redick’s entire NBA career unfold.
Redick came into the NBA as the leading scorer in ACC history. Let that sink in for a minute. He scored more points than any player in the history of a conference that gave us Michael Jordan, James Worthy, Ralph Sampson, Len Bias, Chris Paul, Tim Duncan, Grant Hill, and so many others. Part of that is because he was a four year starter with the Duke Blue Devils. But most of it was because he could flat shoot the ball from the time he stepped on campus.
As an NBA rookie, he got very little playing time and became frustrated sitting on the bench. In year two he didn’t play much more. Two years after being drafted he was rumored to have asked to be traded.
In his third season, his minutes more than doubled to more than 17 per game. He averaged 6 points per game over that season and played in 64 games. At the end of the season, the Chicago Bulls offered Redick a three year, $19 million dollar offer sheet. The Magic thought enough of him to match it.
Perhaps a bit boosted by feeling wanted, Redick then embarked on becoming a fan favorite with the Magic fans. In 2010, the shooting guard averaged nearly 10 points per game. He had averaged in double figures every year since, with each year averaging more then the last. Last season, he averaged over 14 points per game.
So can the Clippers count on 15 points or more for the game? That would be nice. With all the other weapons the Clippers have, opponents won’t be able to concentrate much on Redick. He is capable of lighting up an opponent.
One thing is for certain, he will improve the team’s free throw shooting percentage. He is also a lot better than he was at getting to the line when he first came into the league. His one liability is on the defensive end where he has never excelled, but the Clippers play good team defense so that shouldn’t hurt too much.
Don’t be too surprised if J. J. becomes a fan favorite this season at the Staples Center.