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.

Best of NBA: LeBron James triple-double lifts Cavaliers over Lakers

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Best of NBA: LeBron James triple-double lifts Cavaliers over Lakers

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James recorded his 59th career triple-double in front of Lonzo Ball and his brothers, Kevin Love scored 28 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers won for the 16th time in 17 games, 121-112 over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.

James finished with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists to move a tie with Larry Bird for sixth place on the career triple-doubles list. He also put the Lakers away with a dunk and short runner in the final two minutes.

Love scored 13 in the third quarter, when the Cavs opened an 11-point lead on the way to their 10th straight home win. Jose Calderon added a season-high 17 points for Cleveland.

Brandon Ingram scored 26 for the Lakers and Ball had 13 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

It was the first on-court meeting between James and Ball, the Lakers' highly touted rookie whose outspoken father LaVar has brought both attention and animosity toward his son.

LaVar Ball, who did not attend the game, launched his "Big Baller Brand" to promote his three talented sons. James gave them an in-person lesson in the business of basketball (see full recap).

Lee, Knicks top Nets after Porzingis exits
NEW YORK -- Courtney Lee scored 18 of his 27 points in the second half, Michael Beasley added 15, and the New York Knicks held on to beat the Brooklyn Nets 111-104 on Thursday night after losing star forward Kristaps Porzingis to a sore left knee early in the second half.

Porzingis motioned to the bench with 9:25 remaining in the third quarter after contesting a shot made by Brooklyn's Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. The Knicks' leading scorer had scored 13 points in nearly 18 minutes in the first half.

Enes Kanter had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks, who earned just their second road victory of the season. Their only other one was Oct. 29 at Cleveland.

Spencer Dinwiddie had 26 points for the Nets, who have dropped the first two games to their city rivals. Hollis-Jefferson added 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting and Caris LeVert added 15 (see full recap).

Drummond helps Pistons snap 7-game skid
ATLANTA -- Andre Drummond had 12 points, 19 rebounds and a career-high nine assists, Tobias Harris added 19 points and the Detroit Pistons snapped a seven-game slide with a 105-91 victory over the NBA-worst Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night.

Avery Bradley finished with 18 points and Langston Galloway scored 17 as Detroit won for the first time since beating Phoenix on Nov. 29.

Ersan Ilyasova had 23 points, John Collins scored 15 and Dennis Schroder had 10 assists for Atlanta, which dropped to 6-22 and has lost three in a row.

The Pistons never trailed after Galloway's 3-pointer early in the second quarter. They led by 13 at halftime when Galloway hit a 20-footer in the closing seconds and went up by 22 on Reggie Bullock's floater midway through the third.

Detroit recovered from a 103-84 home loss Tuesday to Denver, a performance coach Stan Van Gundy called one of the worst "I've ever had to coach" in over 850 career games (see full recap).

Robert Covington (back) to return for Sixers' game vs. Thunder

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Robert Covington (back) to return for Sixers' game vs. Thunder

Robert Covington kept his wish list very simple when asked by Joel Embiid what he wanted for his birthday.

“A ‘W’ tomorrow,” said Covington, who turned 27 on Thursday.

Realistically, the swingman will be happy just getting back on the court. Covington is expected to play after missing the last two games of the Sixers’ road trip following a scary back injury he suffered during last Saturday’s 105-98 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

With 1:08 remaining, Covington attempted to save a ball near the sideline before he tumbled out of bounds and over the courtside seats near the Cavaliers’ bench. He kept falling off the four- to five-inch dropoff from the Quicken Loans Arena court to the ground and hit a metal object as he landed. Covington walked off the court with help from his teammates and was labeled with a lower-back contusion.

Now a few days of rest and rehab has him ready for a return in Friday’s home matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“It’s feeling good,” Covington said of his back after Thursday’s practice at the Sixers’ training complex. “The past few days, I’ve done a lot of rehab, acupuncture stuff. My bad today, I felt really great. … I felt great great coming into practice. Acupuncture yesterday, did a lot of movement, a lot of stuff that really opened up my back so I really feel really good today.”

Covington’s return couldn’t come at a better time for the Sixers. 

Sure, a team can always use a player that has averaged 15.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game and shot 42.7 percent from three-point range this season. However, it will be Covington’s defense that will come in handy the most against the dangerous Thunder trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.

Whether Covington comes out strong or struggles to find a rhythm after after his injury, the Sixers will still be happy just to have him back on the floor healthy.

“It’s his birthday today, so he looked a little bit older. But he looked good,” head coach Brett Brown said.