One of the biggest names that the New Orleans Pelicans brought in this summer was J.J. Redick and it would not be surprising if he did not last a season in New Orleans.
The New Orleans Pelicans underwent quite the transformation over the summer and head into the 2019 season looking like a completely different team than they ended the 2018 season with.
The biggest news was trading Anthony Davis, which so far, looks to be a great move for the Pelicans. New Orleans traded one year of team control (with a second-year player option) of Davis for three young assets in Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart as well as a lot of draft capital.
The Pelicans were then savvy in turning that draft capital into more draft capital, maximizing the return for Davis as a result. And of course, it helps when the NBA Lottery balls bounce your way and you get the first overall pick and Zion Williamson.
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The Pelicans needed some veterans on the roster to balance out the youth and acquired two notable veterans as a result. The team traded two second-round picks, both of which were acquired from the Warriors, for veteran big man Derrick Favors. They also signed veteran sharpshooter J.J. Redick to a two-year, $26.5 million deal.
Thus far in the preseason, the two veterans really have not had much of an impact. Favors has received more playing time but neither is making any sort of splash, leaving way to the young players on the roster.
This is completely fine and nothing to panic about. The Pelicans have roster decisions to make about the young players and giving them the floor in the preseason to get them going and get an idea for the rotation is exactly what a team should be doing.
However, as a result of this, fans might have been given a sneak peek into the team’s future plans with Redick, which might not last all that long. It would not be that surprising to see J.J. Redick get dealt this season.
This is not because of his slow preseason whatsoever. Redick will undoubtedly be better and be used in a bigger role in the regular season and be just fine.
However, in using him less, the Pelicans have discovered something: Nickeil Alexander-Walker might be more ready than we expected, making a Redick trade possible.
The timeline of a Redick deal is perfect and that could be why they struck iron on a two-year deal. This would give Alexander-Walker, in theory, a season and a half to blossom into what he could be before the Pelicans traded Redick to a contender at the deadline next season.
However, with Alexander-Walker thriving, the Pelicans can move that timeline up a year and get more out of Redick as he would have an extra year on his contract.
This is perfect for a team that is looking to stockpile assets. While they are capable of making the playoffs this year, they are still years away from being a title contender. There is no chance that they contend for a title in the next two years with Redick.
So trading him does not really derail anything. There is going to be a contending team that desperately needs shooting and has a two-year contract that they want to get rid of that will probably be willing to trade a lottery-protected future first for Redick.
Again: it is about stockpiling assets.
This also gives way to Alexander-Walker. It has only been four games, and he has to prove more before the deadline to convince the Pelicans to make any sort of move, but he looks to have all the traits to be successful.
David Griffin is savvy and he sees the long-game potential of signing Redick, not the short-game potential. So if I were you, I would not buy a J.J. Redick New Orleans Pelicans jersey.