Former Sixer and current New Orleans Pelican JJ Redick recently hopped on Matt Barnes and Samuel Jackson’s ALL THE SMOKE Podcast to discuss some topics surrounding the basketball world. They covered an array of topics ranging from Redick’s origins to the NBA bubble and everything in-between.
It didn’t take long, however, for them to bring up Redick’s time in Philadelphia. Matt Barnes quickly hit Redick with a question in regards to his former teammate, Jimmy Butler. JJ Redick had this to say:
“So I love playing with Jimmy, he’s an interesting personality, and I think often times with Jimmy, it can rub certain people the wrong way. And Matt, you and I played with (Chris Paul) and they’re different personalities, but CP was similar in that way. Like if you didn’t get CP I can see where he would rub you the wrong way. I f***ing loved playing with CP, I loved playing with Jimmy. In my opinion I wish we would’ve just ran it back in Philly, but it was clear they felt like they had to go a different direction with both (Jimmy) and me.”
It’s no secret that Redick and Butler developed a friendship in their short time together in Philadelphia. Redick — along with Joel Embiid — gained a respect for who Jimmy Butler is as a person and player.
A lot of questions circulated when Redick left in the 2019 free agency period, an unexpected move at the time to most. It seems like Redick wanted to return as a Sixer but the interest wasn’t mutual between him and the Sixers’ front office. This is somewhat confusing as Redick had career seasons in his short time as a Sixer and was a close friend to Embiid.
It’s also worth noting that JJ Redick mentioned that both Chris Paul and Jimmy Butler are somewhat similar in terms of their mindsets. Paul has been a favorite of many Sixers fans in the past few months as a potential trade target.
Redick went on to express that he was content with where he was at as a New Orleans Pelican:
“I don’t have any regrets on my decision last summer [to sign with the Pelicans]. I had an unbelievable time in New Orleans and clearly Jimmy has no regrets about his decision.”
There’s little doubt that Jimmy Butler has any regrets signing with the Miami Heat. While the Heat have caught the injury bug, Butler did lead the franchise to their first Finals appearance since LeBron James was a part of the roster.
Matt Barnes went on to ask Redick more about his time with the Sixers, even mentioning that he feels the franchise took a few steps back starting with Tobias Harris’ extension. Redick had this to say in regards to playing alongside Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid:
“It was awesome ‘cause both of them are so intelligent and competitive... those guys, to me, bring it on a consistent basis, they’re fun to be around. I’ve said this before, but the one consistent in Philly has been personnel in and out. They have a ton of players that come through there... I would love to see them figure out a way to bring in a coach that can get the best out of them and surround them with great personnel.”
JJ Redick definitely had a point in regards to the constant roster changing we’ve seen the Sixers go through over the past few seasons. We saw three different iterations of the Sixers in 2019 alone. Joel Embiid even mentioned awhile ago on JJ Redick’s own podcast how that aspect took a toll on him as a player.
Redick finished his comments about the Sixers with this:
“They f***ed up not bringing me back, man. I would just say they probably realized they need a little more shooting. The thing about me in Philly though wasn’t just about the shooting... you need people in the locker room. You need a glue guy. I was literally texting Ben and Jo the other day.”
While JJ Redick’s time in Philadelphia may be over it sounds like he keeps a close friendship with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
JJ Redick went on to shoot a smoldering 45 percent from behind the arc this season with the Pelicans, averaging three made 3s per game. Undoubtedly, his floor spacing and chemistry with the team would’ve been a positive difference maker in the lackluster 2019-20 season that the Sixers scraped together.
While there were concerns in regard to Redick’s defense, it did feel overblown at times. The Sixers effectively managed to stop both the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors from picking on him in the 2019 postseason. Redick held his own and even played above average defense on the likes of Joe Harris and Danny Green. The Sixers owned Redick’s bird rights and could’ve went over the salary cap to re-sign him.
You can find the link to this episode of the “ALL THE SMOKE” podcast here.