76ers

Behind JJ Redick's decision to sign with Sixers lies burning desire to play for Brett Brown

Behind JJ Redick's decision to sign with Sixers lies burning desire to play for Brett Brown

LAS VEGAS -- JJ Redick was one of the most sought-after free agents on the market. Teams were pushing for his veteran leadership and three-point shooting. All the while his decision was quite easy. 

“Truthfully, for probably the eight weeks between the season and free agency, as we got closer and closer to free agency, I wanted to be in Philadelphia,” Redick said at his introductory press conference Saturday after officially signing with the Sixers (see story). “That was the place I wanted to be.”

Redick agreed to a one-year, $23 million contract with the Sixers on July 1, the first afternoon of free agency. What seemed like it could have been a drawn out period of heavy consideration was shortened to less than 24 hours. 

“You brought 40 people to the meeting,” Redick said, turning to president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo seated next to him. “It was just a great experience.”

The Sixers were quick to agree to a deal with Redick because he checked off a long list of offseason needs, the first being offense. 

“What this team needed more than anything was a shooter,” Colangelo said. “We arguably have the best shooter in the league.”

In addition to being instant scoring and reliable three-point threat, the shooting guard is a proven veteran leader who has made the playoffs part of his annual schedule. 

"Yeah, I would just say that Josh and Dave and Bryan aren't paying me $23 million to be a leader,” Redick said. “They're paying me that because I can play and same thing with Amir (Johnson).”

Redick viewed the Sixers’ system and roster as the best fit for him. He said the acquisition of the No. 1 pick to land Markelle Fultz “solidified” his interest in signing with them. Long before the trade, though, Redick had been enticed by the possibility of playing under Brett Brown. 

“To be honest, he was probably the biggest factor in this decision,” Redick said of Brown. “He’s someone that I’ve watched and I wanted to play for. I’m thrilled to be playing for him next year.”

Redick’s quick decision to join the Sixers came after years of traveling to the city as a member of the opposing team. A social media post from his past turned out to be telling of his relocation in 2017. 

"Somebody on Twitter the other day dug up an old tweet from 2011 when I said that I was roaming the streets of Philadelphia and it was one of my favorite cities and it's a very underrated city," Redick said. "Six years later, I still feel the same way."

Report: Sixers interested in talking with Timberwolves about trade for Jimmy Butler

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Report: Sixers interested in talking with Timberwolves about trade for Jimmy Butler

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Timberwolves want to move discontented star Jimmy Butler soon. And the Sixers are among the teams interested in talking with Minnesota about acquiring the four-time All-Star.

The Butler saga has intensified in recent days, with owner Glen Taylor inserting himself prominently. Taylor and Butler reportedly want a trade to be completed before the Timberwolves begin practicing Tuesday, contrary to the wishes of president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau.   

Wojnarowski writes:

So far, few franchises, if any, are engaged in serious conversations with the Timberwolves on Butler, sources said. But the list of organizations interested in talking further with Minnesota is significant, league sources said: Brooklyn, Detroit, Houston, the LA Clippers, Miami, Philadelphia and Portland are among the teams interested in probing for deals.

Wojnarowski later added Cleveland to that list. 

Paul Hudrick already covered why the Sixers may want to stay away from Butler. He’s not the ideal on-court fit, and from an outsider’s perspective, Butler does seem to have a bit of an abrasive personality. He’d also cost the team a good chunk of cash if they wanted to re-sign him once his contract expires after this season, although Wojnarowski reports that “several teams are willing to take Butler without an assurance that he would re-sign with them in the summer.” 

The Sixers are also not on his reported list of preferred trade destinations, which includes the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers.

Still, it’s far from a huge shock that the Sixers would at least want to talk with the Timberwolves about Butler, one of the best two-way players in the game. While he’s not a perfect fit, his abilities to score in isolation and defend on the perimeter would boost the Sixers’ title hopes in the short term.

Head coach Brett Brown said Saturday his goal for this season is to make the NBA Finals (see story).

It may not be likely, but there’s evidently a chance that new GM Elton Brand makes a massive splash and fulfills Brown’s “star hunting” mission as the team pushes toward that goal. 

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Sixers notes, quotes and tidbits: What already has team seeing red?

Sixers notes, quotes and tidbits: What already has team seeing red?

CAMDEN, N.J. — NBA courts measure out 94 feet long and 50 feet wide. 

For the Sixers, they’re making sure to use every inch. 

One of the courts at the team’s training complex had all four corners marked with red boxes per the request of head coach Brett Brown.

“If you look at our court there are four distinct markings on the court that I have anointed things that are important to me. That’s one of them,” Brown said after Day 1 of training camp Saturday.

Brown explained the boxes are displayed as a reminder for players. Offensively, it’s to let them know someone must be in both corners in the first three to five seconds of the shot clock to jump-start the squad’s motion. On the defensive side, it serves as a hint to close out on shooters. 

“Whether it’s defensive reasons or offensive reasons, those four spots, for me, have a reason,” Brown said. “We game-ify, we chart it, we talk about it, take the notes, film, success or failure. That’s how I communicate with the guys. It’s one of four floor spots that are important to me.”

Hello again
Forgive Emeka Okafor if he’s a little bit off at the moment. It’s been a wild week.

The veteran big man was released Wednesday by the New Orleans Pelicans. He quickly landed a new deal with the Sixers and arrived in Philadelphia on … well, we’re still not sure.

“I found out Wednesday. I got here Friday,” an uncertain Okafor said. “Thursday or Friday. I’m all screwed up right now.”

Either way, Okafor was in uniform and went through practice Saturday as he tries to extend his career again.

Work to do
Talk to Landry Shamet for any amount of time and you would think he’s a fringe player trying to stay in the league, not a first-round rookie. 

He often mentions areas that need improvement, mainly his body and ball-handling.

But no one would dare add long-range shooting to that list of question marks. The Wichita State product connected on 43.7 percent of his threes while in school.

Now he’s getting a masters-level education in jump shooting.

Quotables
“Of course we can accomplish it. This team is young, talented. Maybe a championship will not come this year, maybe next year. But I think this team has potential to show up on the court, enjoy and play tough both ways and win the games. Ben (Simmons), Joel (Embiid), Rob (Covington), T.J. (McConnell), Markelle (Fultz), the new guys – I think everybody’s excited about this season.”

- Dario Saric on goal of reaching the NBA Finals

“Let’s face it, my situation and our situation over the years that I’ve been here is kind of unique. Elton (Brand) and I are going to do this together. Elton’s gonna do what I read that he has said and what has been articulated to me. He’s the general manager of the team and he’s going to go do his thing. I’m going to coach basketball. I like how it’s played out.”

- Brown on Brand being named general manager

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