76ers

JJ Redick drops knowledge on his free-agent process in new podcast

JJ Redick drops knowledge on his free-agent process in new podcast

With a new team comes a new podcast.

After recording 40 episodes last year for Yahoo!'s The Vertical, newly signed Sixers guard JJ Redick has now joined UNINTERRUPTED, a digital media company started by LeBron James and business partner Maverick Carter that has already gotten contributions from star athletes like Serena Williams, Draymond Green and Rob Gronkowski. 

But Redick is the first athlete on the site to be the sole host of his own podcast, The Chronicles of Redick. His first episode, which dropped Wednesday morning, featured one of his new bosses, Sixers president Bryan Colangelo. 

Together, Redick and Colangelo discussed the fast-paced process that ultimately led the Sixers to ink the former Duke standout to a one-year, $23 million contract on the first day of free agency.

"I'm flying to L.A. thinking I've got a meeting set up at 1 p.m., I've got one at 3:30 p.m. and I've got one at 5:30 p.m. — all with people in mind who I was hoping to secure one-year commitments from," Colangelo said in the episode. "There was one other individual that I'll leave nameless for now that I was hoping to convince on a very large deal that had about the same dollar value as we did with you. So when I got off the plane, I had been texting a little bit with Greg (Redick's agent) on the plane and he said call me when you land.

"I'm in a car and I'm driving to Beverly Hills to stay at the Montage hotel and my meeting's set up for 1 p.m., and it's literally about 12:05 at this time. We're having a general conversation and I'm explaining to him why it's important about the one year and he's pushing back, obviously, per your instructions. We're going back and forth, I'm moving the dialogue and at the end of the day, I said, 'Look, Greg, I know you want as much time as possible here and I know you want to go forward with respect to the deal, but I've got a discussion that's beginning at 1 p.m. today and I'm going to throw that same kind of offer on the table. And I have no idea what the offer's going to be, but if the answer is yes without an answer from you, I may be inclined to move in that direction.' 

"In a span of nine hours, I left my office, I put my head on my pillow for two hours, I fly to Los Angeles, I get in a car and I make a deal with Greg in the car on the way to this meeting. That's how quickly things can turn."

For Redick, after playing 11 seasons for three different NBA teams, he desperately wanted the security of a long-term deal. Now at age 33, it's not a guarantee that the 11th overall pick in 2006 will get another shot at a big-time payday.

But ultimately, it came down to Redick's making a decision that would both give him a chance to earn the money he wanted and potentially play for a title in the near future.

Still, that choice wasn't an easy one.

"There was one moment where I didn't allow the cameras (for UNINTERRUPTED's documentary on his free-agent process) and I wandered out to Brooklyn Bridge Park," Redick said. "It was at the point in time where I was like, 'Man, I'm not gonna get years.'

"And you have to understand something, for basically 14 months since last season ended, I've envisioned this contract, and the contract wasn't about the second number. It wasn't about 50 or 60 or 70 or 80. It wasn't about that. It was about that first number — three or four (years)."

As Redick discussed with CSNPhilly.com's Jessica Camerato following his introductory press conference in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, Colangelo hinted that this season may very well be a jumping-off point in a long-term relationship between the Sixers and the veteran sharpshooter.

"The advent of this process — everyone refers to it as a process — I think life is a process, so it's pretty easy to apply it to every aspect of your life," Colangelo said. "But in this particular case, they did really break things down to a point where there was a lot of pain and suffering and you know, I raced out into free agency and signed a number of long-term commitments to players that were good enough to help us win, but not good enough to help us achieve those longer-term results, which we aspire to win championships. 

"It just was incredibly important to the organization that we were diligent and prudent in our spending. We took steps and this is a measured step. ... This is a one-year contract, but I don't view it as a one-year relationship. This is a situation where if you come in and deliver on what we expect and if we deliver for you what you expect, there's no reason why we can't move forward in some form or fashion."

In the hour-long episode, Redick dropped several interesting insights on the process of going through NBA free agency, and Colangelo — in about a 15-minute segment beginning around the 46-minute mark of the show — talked about why the Sixers were willing to pay a premium for Redick as well as the impact his signing had on the rest of free agency. 

Redick on having no idea where he'd wind up:
"I knew with about 10 days to go until free agency that it was going to be a vastly different market than it was a year ago. ... There were a couple of teams I had sort of hoped and wanted to work something out with, and you know how the NBA works, man. There's all these back-channel communications. It got back to me what the other teams were thinking, and it wasn't really the terms that I necessarily wanted, so I knew basically 10 days out I was like, 'All right, for the third time being a free agent, I'm going to go into July 1 having really no idea what's going to happen.' Maybe that's prevalent across the league — it probably is, I think the majority of players don't know."

Colangelo on the Sixers' goals for this offseason:
"When it comes to putting your team together year after year, there's long-term strategy and there's short-term strategy. This team has obviously been in a long-term rebuilding process, but when I came on about a year ago, it was all about building — forget the word rebuilding, it's now building it up. We really set out to do a few things over the last year that culminated in preparing for the draft and free agency with three primary objectives in mind. 

"I think, first of all, we wanted to enhance and nurture the development of the core players — we've got some young core guys that have gotten an opportunity to play significant minutes and some of whom have played none. ... The second concept was promoting the idea of winning. Bringing in some talent, critical elements like experience, leadership, skill set, things like you represent, and that's why we targeted you and made a point of emphasis of trying to get something with you done. And then third, it's critical for the team in our situation to maintain flexibility for the future." 

If you want to listen to the whole podcast, click here.

Sixers refuse to look at silver lining from season-opening loss

Sixers refuse to look at silver lining from season-opening loss

BOX SCORE

WASHINGTON — In years past, overcoming a 12-point deficit and trailing a playoff-contending team by just two points with a minute to go would be considered an “A for effort” for the Sixers

If they held their own against a more experienced team and didn’t get dominated by John Wall, a 120-115 loss on the road wasn’t really that bad … was it?

Not this season.

The Sixers are in a new phase, one with actual pieces versus promising potential. With that comes higher expectations to win, and it starts in the locker room after the first game. 

“I don’t like taking positives from losses,” JJ Redick said. “We need to clean up a lot of stuff. We need to be better. It takes a lot to win in this league. We need to figure that out, and we will. We are good enough to do that.” 

The Sixers were in Wednesday's game until the end (see observations). They withstood the combined 53 points from Wall and Bradley Beal with a 29-point performance by Robert Covington and double-doubles from Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons (see studs, duds, more).

The team acknowledged it had a chance to win. Yes, there were encouraging moments. No, they weren’t hanging their heads and writing off the season after opening night. 

At the same time, they are not ignoring the missteps that landed them in the loss column. Those are the turning points to learn from this season. 

The Sixers gave up just three points off four turnovers in the first half. The second half was a different story: 20 points off 13 turnovers. Down two points late in the fourth, the Sixers committed a pair of turnovers in a span of 30 seconds that hindered them from closing the gap. Those errors have been a focal point of conversation among the players. 

“Too many turnovers. That's big,” Embiid said (more on him here). “That's been the talk in the locker room. Got to work on that.”

The Sixers have one day of practice before facing the Celtics and Raptors in back-to-back games. It's just a small taste of what's to come in a stacked schedule over the first two months of the season. The attitude is be good enough to win, not good enough to compete. 

“We’re not going to try to lose this season and take a bunch of positives from that,” Redick said. “We’re trying to win. We’re trying to be in the playoffs this year. That’s got to be the mindset.”

Joel Embiid 'surprised' by amount of playing time in Sixers' opener

Joel Embiid 'surprised' by amount of playing time in Sixers' opener

WASHINGTON — In the end, Joel Embiid’s playing time was a non-issue.

After days of frustration leading up to opening night, Embiid played just three seconds shy of 27 minutes against the Wizards. That far surpassed the 16 minutes he anticipated a day earlier on Tuesday (see story)

“I was surprised,” Embiid said following the Sixers’ 120-115 loss on Wednesday night (see observations). “I was expecting way less than that, but it just shows you they trust me.”

Brett Brown had maintained Embiid’s minutes were going to be more flexible than last year and he wasn’t locked into a specific number by the medical staff. Initially, Brown projected Embiid would play somewhere in the teens, but the game presented an opportunity for him to log more. 

Embiid had played 21:38 through three quarters and it seemed, based on last season, he was done for the night. The coaching staff calculated Embiid had over 20 minutes to rest between the third and the fourth quarters, so Brown put him back into the game with just over five minutes to play. He finished the game with 18 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, a block and four turnovers (see highlights).

“It’s a range,” Brown said. “It’s more of a plan that we have this year than a restriction. When you look at and you feel the flow of the game, that’s where the variables come in.”

Embiid wants open lines of communication between him and the medical staff — for him to know what its planning and for him to be honest about how he is feeling.

“It’s on me to not lie to them and tell them how my body feels when I’m tired,” Embiid said. “At some point through the game I was tired and I told them to take me out.”

Embiid is ready for a new outlook on his availability moving forward. 

“We’ve got to stop calling it 'minutes restrictions,'" Embiid said. "There’s a plan with that — it’s just go out and play. If you’re tired, get out because injuries happen more often when you’re tired.”