After getting LeBron James to commit to a long-term deal, the Los Angeles Lakers were heavily criticized for not signing shooters to complement James in free agency. However, they were in the mix for one of the NBA’s best three-point snipers in JJ Redick, according to the 34-year-old shooting guard.
In an interview with Zach Lowe of ESPN on The Lowe Post, Redick talked about his options in free agency, which included an opportunity to return to Los Angeles.
“We were waiting on LeBron. Once LeBron made his decision, the Lakers were sort of involved as well. There was an opportunity there ... It would have [been fun].”
Redick spent four seasons in the opposite locker room at STAPLES Center with the Clippers before signing a one-year, $23 million contract with the Philadelphia 76ers last summer. He re-upped with the Sixers on another one-year deal for almost half of what he was making last year and it’s possible the Lakers were offering him a similar deal, starting at around $12 million.
If that was the case, it looks like the Lakers opted to use that money to re-sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a one-year deal worth $12 million. Aside from his ties to Klutch Sports, Caldwell-Pope is almost a whole decade younger than Redick and plays both sides of the ball.
Caldwell-Pope is also coming off of a career shooting year from behind the arc, averaging 38.3 percent from deep while averaging 5.6 three-point attempts per game. He might not be as efficient as Redick, a career 41.5 percent three-point shooter, but he’s far from hopeless from the perimeter.
Still, it would have been nice to have another reliable three-point shooter on the team. If the combined $13.5 million used on Lance Stephenson and Rajon Rondo could have been used to lure Redick Los Angeles, maybe the Lakers’ offseason would be looked upon more favorably.
But it’s too late to think about what could have been. All the Lakers can do is hope that they have enough shooting to carry them through the season.
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