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Sixers mailbag: How does JJ Redick fit into Philadelphia’s long-term plan?

5 observations from the Sixers' nail-biting win over the Orlando Magic

For all of the speak about how Jimmy Butler created a “Big Three” in Philadelphia, there is a case to be made that JJ Redick is simply as essential in making this entire factor go. The Sixers’ sharpshooter has an excellent two-man recreation with Joel Embiid, provides Ben Simmons the perimeter sniper he wants, and matches into principally any offensive setup the Sixers might probably have.

However the Sixers shall be confronted with robust selections shifting ahead, and they should determine who’s value spending their valuable cap area on. That may put Redick within the crosshairs, as big salaries for Embiid, Butler, and ultimately Simmons clog up the cap sheet.

For immediately’s Sixers mailbag, that is the place we’ll begin.

I am glad Douglas introduced up the mentor/management a part of this. Landry Shamet has been a revelation as a rookie, however Redick’s worth isn’t just in making photographs. With years of expertise and a pointy thoughts to match, Redick is nearly as good as somebody can probably be at his position, and the knowledge he brings to the group is invaluable.

As long as Butler is right here, the Sixers are going to wish to fill the roster with strong, constructive clubhouse guys to ensure they maintain a robust base in place. Redick is a revered voice within the locker room on numerous fronts, each as a result of he’s ok that his phrases carry weight and since his dedication/work ethic assist set the tone for the group. For those who ever get the prospect, get right down to a recreation early and take a look at how critical he takes warmups on recreation day. That is a mirrored image of who he’s.

I feel the Sixers might be lots all in favour of bringing Redick again, offered they will come to an settlement on an inexpensive deal. The extra fascinating query to me is whether or not Redick decides he needs to be again. He’ll produce other gives, and nobody can say for positive what Redick’s precedence will probably be. Will he chase probably the most cash? Will he prioritize proximity to his Brooklyn-based household? Does he need to end what they’ve began right here, and hopefully chase a title?

Each events profit from each other. Embiid loves working that two-man recreation with Redick, and Redick certainly appreciates how a lot simpler his life is enjoying off a dominant huge man and an outstanding passer in Simmons. Are these issues sufficient to bridge a possible monetary hole? The Pacers went after him this summer time, and they’ll have a ton of cap flexibility this offseason to probably change their rotation. A group like that could be extra prepared to return to Redick early in free company, whereas Philadelphia pursues greater fish.

Shamet has been excellent this yr, however there is a distinction between producing in a bench position with decrease expectations than it’s to be a shotmaker in crunch time on a routine foundation. If the Sixers are sensible, they will attempt to have their cake and eat it too, bringing again Redick on a deal that ensures he is right here to see issues via whereas offering a chance for Shamet to take his position long run, ought to he show succesful.

I feel it makes a variety of sense on paper. However I feel you are going to be hard-pressed to get Embiid to take a seat on this street journey. He informed reporters on Wednesday night that he seems ahead to battling with Nikola Jokic, there’s apparent incentive for him to take it to LeBron James’ Lakers, and the Golden State Warriors now function DeMarcus Cousins, one of many few huge males Embiid has proven a number of respect for since getting into the league.

It is onerous to know what the suitable factor to do is with a again that seemingly flares up at random. Selfishly, I need to see him play towards Jokic, however they should do no matter is greatest for his long-term well being.

This can be a cop-out reply, however the reply actually will depend on who they’re getting in such a deal. If it is only one respectable rotational participant, I do not assume that is value it, because the Sixers are probably going to hunt for guys on expiring contracts. But when they will someway get multiple rotation piece in the correct age vary, I might completely contemplate shifting it.

We mentioned Mike Conley earlier this week, however the Grizzlies even have a number of position gamers who’re in all probability obtainable if the Sixers are prepared to pony up draft belongings. Are guys like Garrett Temple, Justin Vacation, or JaMychal Inexperienced all that invaluable on their very own? Definitely not. However that group would add some metal and expertise to Philadelphia’s bench, and certain find yourself higher than the sum of their elements.

Philadelphia’s gameplan at this level does not essentially should be about enhancing their ceiling — that is fairly rattling excessive — and as an alternative can hone in on enhancing their flooring. If the bench can merely not bleed factors, the beginning group is sweet sufficient to compete with anyone.

I feel with the Butler commerce the Sixers principally determined they have been going to compete now, and given current outcomes towards some excellent groups, I feel they will really feel empowered so as to add one other piece or two. 

(However understand that this is identical group that scooped Landry Shamet behind the primary spherical final summer time. Perhaps that empowers them to guess on themselves to seek out one other contributor with this yr’s decide.)

I consider that is merely a matter of customer’s selection. Most groups have a tendency to decide on to heat up on the aspect of the ground close to their bench, which has the aspect impact of putting their protection in entrance of the bench within the second half. It is strictly a private choice factor, so the aspect that the Frosty Freeze Out finally ends up on is strictly based mostly on that dynamic.

EMAIL QUESTION: “With Brewer playing much better than expected, I’m assuming he is going to get a second 10-day and then get signed for the rest of the season which would take the 15th roster spot. With the buy-out market and trade deadline approaching, how likely do you think it is that Amir Johnson gets cut?” —Johnny

We’re in 100 % settlement that Amir Johnson’s present-day worth as a participant is not there. I doubt that is going to vary between now and the top of the yr, and I feel that makes him a logical minimize candidate on this hypothetical.

Don’t low cost how extremely the workforce regards him as a clubhouse man, although. He does an admirable job of protecting issues mild behind-the-scenes and does goofy issues like asking for shout-outs throughout press conferences that endear him to his teammates. 

When Brett Brown acknowledged character first after they signed Brewer to his first 10-day contract, it was a delicate acknowledgment of the type of individual they really feel they want within the room. So within the occasion this occurs, I might say Johnson is a likely-ish candidate, I simply would not name it a lock.

I touched on this at size in my piece on Zhaire Smith and Patton yesterday, however a brief model: lot of a possible as a rim runner/pick-and-roll companion, presents size and athleticism on protection, however he is nonetheless pretty uncooked and undoubtedly must placed on weight so he does not get bullied on the glass.

If you would like some extra in-depth ideas, this is the place yow will discover them.

I feel Simmons has been fairly wonderful on protection this yr, and admittedly that is the most important purpose why I proceed to price him extremely regardless of the one obtrusive problem he has. I am a sucker for two-way play, and Simmons’ versatility is up there with principally any participant within the league. It is also why I in all probability would have named him an All-Star starter over Kemba Walker — he drives profitable with what he does on each side of the ball, and I wish to see gamers rewarded for efforts on each ends.

He makes troublesome duties look very easy. The man is 6-foot-10 and made Russell Westbrook’s life depressing when he was matched up with him final weekend.

Positive, I feel there’s an argument. I’ll say that I feel we have collectively gone too far in dismissing guys who produce on quantity to pump up effectivity in any respect prices. It isn’t straightforward to do what both of Luka Doncic and DeAndre Ayton is doing on offense, and whereas I feel the latter has main pink flags for long-term viability, that does not change the manufacturing, which is extraordinarily good for a child his age.

Jaren Jackson Jr. is the man I might have rounding out the highest three (I’d even place him above Ayton for defensive causes), however in the event you’re the kind of one that values manufacturing on a great workforce on this kind of train, I will not begrudge you for giving Shamet some love. It is Doncic’s award to lose both approach.

Anybody who can hit threes and play protection ought to be excessive atop the record. I am nonetheless leery about trusting Jonah Bolden to be your backup middle when push involves shove, however I feel Embiid goes to play so many minutes within the playoffs that prioritizing a rim protector can be a bit foolish. The Sixers want guys who can fill out their rotation and play in quite a lot of seems, and that may both be a three-and-D wing or a guard sort in an analogous mould. 

I might lean towards the previous if they will discover one, as I might proceed to attempt to construct a much bigger, extra athletic group to lean into the fashion Simmons permits you to play. This group must be striving to bully groups.

I’m all the time hesitant to make predictions about this child. Gun to my head, I say no. The fluid nature of his return timeline, the way during which he left the group in late November, the agent’s overwhelming affect on the state of affairs, there are simply too many indicators pointing to this marriage being over.

In the event you do not need to take my phrase for it, Zach Lowe briefly talked about his identify in a dialogue with Jackie MacMullan this week, floating Fultz as somebody Philly might supply in a possible Mike Conley commerce.

“It’s over,” Lowe stated of Fultz’s time in Philadelphia, “it’s just a matter of when.”

I’ll submit my reply within the type of a photograph:

012319-JoelEmbiid2-USAToday012319-JoelEmbiid2-USATodayDave Uram/94 WIP

Joel Embiid hears a creature within the Wells Fargo Middle ceiling.

In different phrases, I actually hope not.

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