Monday, June 27th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  34 responses

JJ Redick to Become a Starter in Orlando?

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

JJ Redick has wanted to be the Orlando Magic’s starting shooting guard for quite some time now, and though he has yet to earn the spot, the day may not be too far off.

Reading the tea leaves a little bit, based on what the Magic did in last week’s NBA Draft, the Orlando Sentinel is beginning to think that Redick may be a starter next season, with Jason Richardson likely playing for a different team:

J.J. Redick and his adoring fans finally might get their wish. The Magic reached deep into Thursday night’s NBA Draft to pick a two-guard who’s a stellar defensive specialist. Hmmmm. The addition of second-rounder DeAndre Liggins could signal that the Magic have decided to make J.J. the starting shooting guard next season.

It also obviously would mean that the club realizes it can’t afford to bring back last season’s starter, Jason Richardson. J-Rich is arguably the top free-agent shooting guard available this summer (or whenever the league reopens for business after a forecasted lockout ends.) With Liggins and veteran Quentin Richardson, the Magic’s concerns about Redick’s defense in certain matchups might be alleviated. GM Otis Smith said he believes Redick is ready to be a starter — and the Bulls felt the same way last summer when they signed J.J. to an offer sheet.

The Magic have no choice but to have a different-looking roster next season; Dwight Howard and his very public demands have made sure of that.

Is JJ Redick the answer? Can he help ensure that Dwight sticks around town for a few more years? You’ll have to excuse Magic fans for feeling more than a tad nervous.

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  • Wagers

    Dre is a legit three point shooter and has insane defense like Gary Payton, great backup.

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    just like last time he became a starter in orlando.

  • Marcus Beard Jr

    Just because he may start does not mean that he is going to be getting the most court or ball time. Jason Terry did not start for most of the season, neither did Lamar Odom.

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    Best of luck to Redick but making him a starter is not the answer to any question Dwight has asked.

  • KBJ

    Red is a great shooter, but imo not a starter, when the time arises to guard the wades, ellis’, and kobes,etc… he is a liabilty, he just isnt a convincing defender in the backcourt

  • chris

    he definitely is. he is not the worst defensive player in the league. his defensive liabilites will be masked by the presence of dwight howard. redick has a great basketball iq. we all know his three point prowess. i think it would be a great decision on the magics part. they could use some more athletic pieces on their roster though. their forwards for the most part are slow and bad defenders.

  • http://pointingnofingers.wordpress.com/ twinparadox

    And there goes Dwight

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    I’m pretty sure we heard this same story last year too…

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    Great point Marcus

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    If he doesn’t wanna get embarrassed as a starter he has to add more to his game.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    He’s earned his stripes. He’s paid his dues.
    It SHOULD be a positive.
    There should be plenty of good looks for Redick with Howard getting the customary attention.
    If Howard stays there…

  • BAM


  • TheNightWatch*8*

    Good Luck JJ.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    This team still can’t contain a cup of molasses on the perimeter. doesn’t change a thing, Dwight’s still in foul trouble.

  • flea

    The Magic could do a lot worse than JJ. While he may not be the most athletic guard in the league, he has gotten stronger, and his conditioning is superb. JJ can knock down the jumper all day long, but if you have watched his game develop, he is not afraid to take it to the hole, score on the runner, or pull up for the jumper. Oh by the way, he is an excellent passer. His entry passes to Dwight are on the money and he can pass off of the drive or in transition.

    JJ may not be able to contain the better shooting guards in the league, but who can? With guys like DWade and Kobe the best you can hope to do is drive them to the help defender. JJ knows how to do that. He plays excellent team defense.

    Finally, look at the +/-. The Magic are way better with JJ on the floor.

  • 6marjons

    the reason he hasn’t been a starter is cos he’s not good enough to be a starter in this league. i like him but he’s never grasped the nba like he did college

  • DieselMechanic


  • deezy

    this starts the downfall of the orlando magic

  • http://jsdklfl.com Jukai

    Hold on a second here guys…
    JJ Reddick is a mediocre defender.
    But he’s a massive upgrade over the Arenas-Richardson-Turkoglu backcourt….
    Everyone is acting like there’s some big subtraction here. JJ Reddick is ironically going to improve the defense of the starting lineup by starting over Richardson.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    But they still suck. Its not like they have a stopper, so adding a below average defender in place of another below average defender won’t change anything. The only thing Reddick changes by moving into the starting lineup is the rotation.

  • http://jsdklfl.com Jukai

    Why do they need a stopper? Just get a few decent defenders, no team has great defenders at every position. Get a power forward who can ACTUALLY defend, a real backup center, and ONE wing defender and you are good. You don’t need a starting five of amazing defenders.
    The mavericks didn’t have them.
    The heat didn’t have them.
    Reddick is a medicore (not below average) defender who can get blown by faster iso-wings but does just fine against stronger guards, and more importantly, against those that run through screens to get their points (which most people struggle against). Remember him dogging Ray Allen?
    This is all-in-all not that big of a deal. JJ Reddick loves to feed Howard in the post more than anyone else on the team, so that’s the only REASON this is news. There’s no other negative or positive for this move.

  • bike

    J.J. has ‘adoring fans’? Whatever. Hw won’t last long as a starter anyway. J.J. is light years ahead of when he first came into the league but he will always be more of role player. His ratio of fast-twitch to slow-twitch muscle fibers is just too low.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Jukai, I said Orlando doesn’t have *A* stopper. ONE, that don’t have ANY. all of those teams that you named have one or more “stoppers”. Players that guard the best player on the opposing team. Dallas has Shawn Marion, Deshawn Stevenson, Caron Butler. Miami has LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. You can’t seriously use Reddick CHASING around Ray Allen as your proof that he is a good defender, you just chase Allen around, you don’t guard him off the dribble, thats not what being a good defender is about. The Magic starters on the Wing, with or without Reddick consists of some combination of Jameer Nelson, Hedo Turkoglu, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, JJ Reddick. Not a single one of those guys can guard any even decent perimeter scorer. How is Orlando going to add a wing defender anyway? That team is SCREWED

  • MikeC.

    Glen Davis.

  • http://jsdklfl.com Jukai

    The Miami heat had Lebron James and Mario Chalmers. Wade is a grade-A help defender but kinda lousy in the isolation sense. Caron Butler isn’t really a stopper. But I’m just nitpicking, I get your point.
    Chasing guys who run through screens IS a defensive art. That’s a bad basketball comment on your part. Guys like Richard Hamilton and Ray Allen give people FITS. Remember when Allen was abusing Kobe so bad they had to switch Kobe off of him, cause Kobe just couldn’t run through the screens? Yeah, that’s actually what Reddick does wonderfully, gets through screens and stays with his man. He also is hard to bully and post up. That’s something that Arenas, Richardson, and Turkoglu can’t say they’ve ever done.
    So you have subbed out a bad defender for a mediocre one. And you drafted a guy whose sole purpose is to defender. And you’re either trading or letting go of the guy who just scored in bunches. There, you have a decent point guard spot.
    I know what you’re saying, you need some isolation help. But you know what I think would be equally valuable? A PF-C who could man-up anyone on the block and let Howard drift more and concentrate less on locking down on the team’s best low-block guy. That would help just as much. Because this lineup of Turkoglu/Anderson and occassionally Brandon Bass whenever Howard has to rest… that’s just as bad as the backcourt problem. But I think it needs to be addressed first.

  • http://jsdklfl.com Jukai

    I’m actually kinda shocked you said that chasing guys who use screens doesn’t make a good defender. It makes some lockdown defenders worthless. You need a guy who can do that.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Jukai, the point is, if you know how to chase a player (a catch and shoot player) off of screens, the defense is just effort. Lock down defenders have trouble with this aspect of defending because they are not accustomed to it…simply because a good coach knows not to waste his best defender on a guy running from screen to screen. I understand you need guys who can and will chase a guy around screens for a whole game, but that doesn’t make that person a good defender. And it is basically useless to have that guy when your on-ball defender is getting walked around on every possession. JJ Reddick would be a fine starter, 2nd primary defender if he played next to Joe Johnson and Jeff Teague. Or Grant Hill and Steve Nash. But next to Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu? He’s useless, his defensive abilities don’t help anything, and it changes nothing about the Magic. Except their rotation.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    And when they had Reddick on Allen (and it worked) their starting 2 was Courtney Lee, and his Backup was Mickael Pietrus, two very good individual defenders. In-fact when was the last time a team won anything without a somewhat elite perimeter defender? I don’t recall it ever happening.

  • D12FSU

    Orlando will not have the money to re sign JRich, so with the guards we have, I feel much more confortable with JJ starting over Arenas, Q or Liggins. And even though JJ isnt a great 1-1 defender, he understands the team concept of defense and isnt as big a liability as one would think. On offense, everyone knows he can shoot the ball, but for those who dont watch a lot of magic basketball, JJ is a great ball mover, he keeps the offense fluid, hes developed a little floater in the lane, and something that goes unnoticed, but hes our best passer when it comes to feeding Dwight in the post. So even though making JJ the starter wont be the move that sets us up for a title run, or keep Dwight, it doesnt hurt..and it may be the step in the right direction.

  • D12FSU

    …i probably shouldve just co-signed with flea..he made all the points i did before me

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    He was that guy when they went to the finals..

  • http://basketballjunction.blogspot.com/ Joseph V

    The Magic need to make a play for Rudy Gay or Monta Ellis. Both are very talented but don’t seem to be a huge part of their respective teams’ future. It’d help keep Howard, and if not, they have their next (borderline) franchise player.

  • jimmy

    The entire premise of this article is absurd and laughable. It was the 53rd pick of a weak draft. At pick 53, you pick the best player available. To write a whole article speculating about what this pick means about the moves Orlando intends to make is just plain dumb.

  • bryan904

    jj cant be worse at defending then jrich or any other 2 and jj is a good playmaker if you let him, my only problem is him and jameer got to be 1 of the shortest backcourts in the league. jameer is still our real problem. in the finals dallas just kept switching defenders thats why lebron was getting guarded by jkidd and it was working because jkidd has a little heighth. jameer is just to short. you have to have great pg play to when a title, even when la won title dfish would always play great. magic know what they got to do its whether if otis can get it done