Minnesota Timberwolves Should Make a Push for J.J. Redick
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There are other priorities—re-signing Nikola Pekovic and figuring out what to do in the draft—but signing Redick, a longtime Orlando Magic sharpshooter, should be on the minds of Minnesota’s brass.
The former Duke guard has been known for two things since joining the Magic back in 2006: shooting three-pointers and defense. And when I say three-pointers, I mean firing the ball from so far away that his delivery to the basket is considered international mail.
This is exactly what the Timberwolves need.
They have a point guard that distributes the ball in Ricky Rubio, the best power forward in the game in Kevin Love and, should they re-sign him, a fortress in the middle in Pekovic.
There is some question as to who the small forward will be, but Andrei Kirilenko is more than capable of filling in until Derrick Williams—a versatile athletic forward—is ready to be an everyday starter.
That means there is one gaping hole: the shooting guard. Alexey Shved did not play particularly well with Rubio last year and Luke Ridnour as well as J.J. Barea are not really 2-guards. Should they re-sign him, Chase Budinger could play minutes at the 2, but he’s a natural 3.
Who better to fill that position with than a player that can hit three-pointers and lock down on defense? More than that, at 28, Redick is young enough to be in his prime, but old enough to be a leader in the locker room.
The Timberwolves had trouble spreading the court last year and could use a weapon that Rubio can dish it to should teams jam the middle in order to prevent Love and Pekovic from scoring inside.
With a guy like Redick, who can consistently hit from deep, they will force defenses to spread out and, in turn, create more opportunities for either Williams to slash to the paint or Love and Pekovic to post up and score inside.
Also, by pairing Rubio and Redick, the Wolves will have one of the strongest defensive backcourts in the league. This is especially important for a team that struggled with perimeter defense last year and has two slower players, Love and Pekovic, starting for their team.
Finally, the Wolves are a young team in need of a guiding voice. The two faces of the team are under 25 (Rubio is 22, Love is 24) and Williams just turned 22.
There are some veterans on the team—Pekovic is 27, Barea is a 28-year-old NBA champion and Kirilenko is 32—but having an impact player with clout like Redick in his prime and old/experienced enough to be a team leader is huge, especially when the young guys get their first playoff exposure.
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com reports that Redick is leaning towards leaving the Milwaukee Bucks, a team that acquired him from Orlando at the trade deadline. It is also unlikely that he returns to the Magic—a rebuilding team that is undergoing a youth movement in the post-Dwight Howard era.
The fact that he left Orlando bodes well for the Wolves or any team that wants to sign him.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that he and his wife, Chelsea, enjoyed it in Central Florida and Redick told Sportstalk 1040 in Orlando (h/t SportsRadioInterviews.com) that he cried when he was informed of the trade to the Bucks—then again, wouldn’t we all cry if we were forced to live in Wisconsin?
The door is open, Minnesota. The missing piece is out there. Yes, there are multiple suitors, but he just had a bad breakup with the franchise he was with and is ready for a rebound…err, well, maybe to shoot a three.
And out here in Timberwolves land, that’s exactly what we’re looking for right now.
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