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Report: J.J. Redick expected to leave Clippers in free agency

J.J. Redick

Los Angeles Clippers’ J.J. Redick celebrates making a 3-pointer against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015, in Los Angeles. The Clippers won 103-90. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)


Plenty of attention has, deservedly, been paid to whether the Clippers will re-sign Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

But J.J. Redick – an underrated part of L.A.'s success – will also become an unrestricted free agent.

Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times spoke to “several NBA officials who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter because of the sensitively of contract talks” and found:

J.J. Redick, who is an unrestricted free agent, is looking to earn $18-20 million per season, according to the officials. The Clippers probably won’t pay that much, the officials said, but the team won’t rule out re-signing Redick for the right price.

Re-signing just Paul and Griffin would push the Clippers into the luxury tax. Also keeping Redick would vault them into historic spending, especially considering they’d be subject to the repeater tax rate.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer will reportedly pay whatever it takes to keep Paul and Griffin. That doesn’t necessarily apply to Redick.

Letting Redick walk rather than meet that price tag makes some sense. He’ll turn 33 before free agency, and he declined this year.

He didn’t create as much separation with his off-ball cutting. His drives against closeouts weren’t as emphatic. He had a tougher time keeping up defensively.

Redick was still effective, but not quite as much, and everything looked like a battle, especially in the playoffs. That doesn’t project to improve as he ages. Re-signing Redick wouldn’t give the Clippers the same player they’ve had the last few years.

But they’d be limited to the taxpayer mid-level exception ($5,192,000 starting salary) to replace him. Even if Redick is overpaid on his next contract, he’ll probably still be better than whomever L.A. signs with the taxpayer MLE.

If the Clippers re-sign Paul and Griffin to go with DeAndre Jordan, the goal is a championship. The odds might be slim, but that’s at least a core with a fringe title chance at. Repeated playoff flameouts create an appetite for a shakeup, but the Clippers need better breaks more than a massive overhaul.

Losing Redick wouldn’t shake the Clippers into being better. It’d just mean they’re losing a good player.

Perhaps that’s a financial necessity, but that’s what it’d primarily be.