I’ll have something later today that will delve deeper into the philosophy of what could be going on, but there’s some news surrounding the Minnesota Timberwolves and the free agent market. There’s no secret that the Wolves have needed outside shooting the past couple of years. In 2011-12, the Wolves ranked 23rd in the NBA in 3-point percentage at 33.2% but took the sixth most attempts in the league.
Last season, I tried to chronicle the historically poor shooting the Wolves had from downtown. The final damage was 30.5%, which was the lowest in the NBA. The Charlotte Bobcats of 2011-12 had a worse percentage at 29.5%, but they also attempted 4.4 fewer threes per game than the Wolves did, making the Wolves by far the worst 3-point shooting team of all time when you factor in volume. The Wolves need shooters and Flip Saunders made that abundantly clear as a priority during his introductory press conference.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, your T’Pups have four-year offers out to both J.J. Redick and Chase Budinger.
Having these two guys on the roster would certainly take care of the outside shooting issues. I wouldn’t let last year’s numbers from Chase Budinger skew your thinking of how good his shooting is. He made 32.1% of his 3-pointers and yet he had the greatest impact on the floor over the course of the season when looking at net differential in offensive and defensive ratings. His net rating was +2.4 points per 100 possessions, the best mark on the team. It was the best mark on the team, probably because of the fact that he seemed to miss the really bad months of the season, but maybe they were the really bad months because he and other key players were out so much.
The offense was 1.6 points per 100 better when he was on the court and the defense was 0.8 points per 100 better with him on the floor too. He had a pretty solid impact on the team, helping them space the floor. Add a healthy Budinger to a healthy Kevin Love and a healthy Nikola Pekovic and a healthy Ricky Rubio and you could have a pretty nice offensive area for creating points that the Wolves struggled to score last season.
As for J.J. Redick, I’m not sure I really need to go into just how good of a shooter he is. But let’s take a glimpse anyway because I love outside shooting. For his career, Redick has knocked down 39.0% on 1,532 3-point attempts. The lowest season he’s ever had was last season in Orlando/Milwaukee when he hit 36.6% of his 3-pointers. It was also the first season without a good offensive system, as Stan Van Gundy was gone from Orlando and he was playing next to Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings in Milwaukee. Throw him into a system in which there is off-ball movement and plenty of shots on the perimeter (hey, that sounds like Rick Adelman’s system!) and I would be shocked if he didn’t crack 40.0% again next season.
Check out his Basketball-Reference Heat Map:
That’s a lot of perimeter heat.
When looking at impact, Redick had the second best mark on the Magic last year at a net rating of -3.6. That may not look good off the bat, but they didn’t have any positive contributors, probably because they won 20 games. Actually, it’s definitely because they won 20 games. The offense for the Magic was putrid last season. They had the fourth worst offense in the league throughout the entire season at 98.9 points per 100 possessions. When Redick was on the floor, the offense hit at 103.7 points per 100. When he was off the floor, the offense hit at 93.2. That’s a pretty incredible difference. In Milwaukee, we saw a 5.5-point bump for the team’s offense when he was on the floor.
Redick is also a very smart and capable team defender. You’re never going to want him in isolation defense against James Harden, but he’s good at rotations, closeouts, and swiping down at the ball in help.
Crunching some numbers real quick, with the cap holds and assuming Andrei Kirilenko is gone, it looks like the Wolves can start their offer for Redick at around $6.2 million. With the maximum annual raises of 4.5%, that would put the contract offer around four years and $26.5 million. Is that enough to get him, especially with the Clippers possibly looking at a sign-and-trade with Milwaukee? That’s the $26.5 million question. During the regular season, he was saying he wanted to get paid $10 million per year but that seems unrealistic.
I don’t know how realistic their chances are of wooing Redick to sign here, but I love the idea of putting him on the team.