As players who signed a new contract in the 2019 NBA free agency become trade eligible, rumors have started to circulate around veteran shooting guard JJ Redick and his future with the New Orleans Pelicans. Though he remains confident that the Pelicans could still turn things around in the 2019-20 NBA season, their roster, as currently constructed, clearly doesn’t have what it takes to compete for a playoff spot in the deep Western Conference. Once the Pelicans make him officially available on the trading block, several NBA teams are expected to have a strong interest in acquiring Redick, including the Los Angeles Lakers.
In his recent article, Matt Peralta of Lakers Nation mentioned Redick as one of the NBA players that the Lakers should pursue before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. In the proposed trade deal, the Lakers would be sending a trade package including Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Quinn Cook, and 2023 and 2024 unprotected second-round picks to the Pelicans in exchange for Redick. If the trade becomes a reality, it would help both teams in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.
“Redick — who signed a two-year, $26 million deal with the New Orleans Pelicans — has voiced his desire to play in the playoffs, but will likely be watching from home at this rate given their struggles. The Pelicans are all-in on their rebuild and Redick’s talents as a sharpshooter would mesh well playing next to Davis and James in five-out lineups. For New Orleans, they add to their treasure chest of future Los Angeles draft picks in the process.”
As much as Redick loves New Orleans, staying with the Pelicans would ruin his playoff streak. The Pelicans are currently on a 12-game losing streak, sitting in the No. 14 spot in the Western Conference with a 6-12 record. To make things more complicated, one of the Pelicans’ best players, Zion Williamson, isn’t expected to make his season debut until early 2020 as he is still recovering from an injury.
As of now, Redick and the Pelicans are better off heading into different directions. Being traded to the Lakers wouldn’t only allow Redick to extend his playoff streak, but it could also give him a realistic chance of winning his first NBA championship title. With his ability to excel in an off-ball capacity, Redick would be a perfect fit alongside ball-dominant superstars like LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, in exchange for Redick, the Pelicans would be receiving two future second-round picks that would enable them to add more young and promising talents on their roster. However, to push through with the deal, the Lakers and the Pelicans would first need to ask permission from Caldwell-Pope since his current contract has a de facto no-trade clause.