Pels Lonzo Ball, JJ Redick reportedly available; should Boston call?

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Justin Quinn
·3 min read
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Any time we hear rumbles about potentially available players going on trade market the Boston Celtics are sure to come up with a $28.5 million traded player exception (TPE), and Boston may well really be lurking on the margins to probe potential viability for the team.

Those players this time around are a pair of New Orleans Pelicans guards reportedly being inquired about with a receptive Pels organization fielding offers for the duo — J.J. Redick and Lonzo Ball per the Athletic’s Shams Charania. With the Feb. 2 deadline to trade for players aggregatable in a deal made on the 2021 Mar. 25 trade deadline looming and Feb. 6 (the date most players signed in the offseason can be traded) not far behind, we can expect moves for players like these two to begin in earnest soon.

But do either make any sense for the Celtics?

The case for JJ Redick

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

The idea of Redick in green and white has obvious appeal based on his career to date, but the question of the player who would actually be suiting up is the biggest potential barrier for any deal for the Duke product. And while he has that brotherhood in common with star wing Jayson Tatum, he may not have the deadly 3-point accuracy the Missouri native has cultivated in his career to date. A career 41.4% shot from beyond the arc, Redick is putting up a career-worst 30% from 3 this season, and just 8.1 points per game with New Orleans. Add in that he is on an expiring deal for $13 million, and at the end of the season it's not inconceivable that the best value of his current deal is that it would help a team clean up its books -- we'll have to pass.

The case for Lonzo Ball

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

While also on an expiring deal with questions surrounding his 3-point shooting (currently just 29.1% compared to last season's 37.5%), last season's numbers were robust enough to not be entirely flukey, and thus less likely to be an offensive dead end with the point guard still just 23 years old. And even if his shooting stays suspect this season, his size and playmaking are an intriguing option for a team that may be a move or two away from being a title favorite -- and at a pay rate that won't paint the team into a corner if he leaves in free agency. A move now would allow him to be aggregatable come Mar. 25, leave the bulk of the TPE to use at the deadline or in the offseason, and allow the Celtics to hang onto Ball with his Bird rights should the fit be good and all parties be happy. And with plenty of room left in the TPE to do things if he walks.

Conclusions

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

While Redick might have been an ideal option at one time, there's something to be said for gambling on a younger player with upside -- even if neither of the two are ideal options for what Boston needs to contend at the highest levels. The 6-foot-6 guard has become a better defender than he often gets credit, and has multiple paths out of any potentially bad outcomes with plenty of games scheduled to get a feel for the fit. There's always a looming LaVar Ball to consider of course, but to date we have seen little to suggest of any sort of serious potential to distract, and nothing whatever from the player himself. Boston may well have its eyes on another prospective target -- and New Orleans may want more than they would be willing to part with -- but Lonzo is an option the Celtics ought to at least make a call to probe the waters. And knowing team president Danny Ainge, they very well may have already. This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! [jwplayer eCbmIeV1-z6KDnl0B] [lawrence-related id=45941,45920,45892,45897] [vertical-gallery id=45761]

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Miami
+135+3.5-
New Orleans
-162-3.5-