The first day of free agency was a success for the Sixers. The team showed a willingness to spend money on players that would not only make the team better but can also mentor the younger players. In a team full of young players, having a veteran presence will help these players grow and develop properly.
The team went out and signed shooting guard JJ Redick to a one year $23 million contract and power forward Amir Johnson to a one year, $11 million contract. Going in to free agency, the Sixers had the most cap space in the league since most of the roster was drafted in the last 3 years. The best part about both signings is that they are both one year signings, I am a big supporter of minimizing risk and maximizing value.
The big signing of the day was easily JJ Redick. By all accounts, Redick was the teams first choice heading in to Saturday. The team was in desperate need of a veteran, especially one that can shoot the 3. At the ripe old age of 33, Redick has spent the last 4 years playing for the Clippers and just broke the franchise record for 3’s made in a single season with 201. Look at how beautiful his shooting form is. Covington now will probably be coming off the bench assuming that Redick starts.
This certainly was not the “sexiest” signing by any stretch, but the Sixers landed themselves a decent bench player. The 6’9 PF is coming off a career high 77 starts last year with the Celtics who were the #1 seed in the lowly east. Johnson is going to be playing behind Saric and Simmons and will be expected to bring his physicality to fight hard in the paint. You can see the way he fights hard every play and out muscles defenders while they are draped over him.
If JJ Redick has a solid season and proves to be an awesome guy in the locker room, I would bet money on the Sixers resigning him for another couple of years. Amir Johnson is probably not here after this contract expires. We all want the team to make a run at a superstar but with the team in its current state, it is not worth wasting all of the money on a superstar, the team is not ready for that…..yet. Give it a season or 2, let the players grow up and develop and if everything goes according to plan, a superstar could put the team over the top.
Us, as fans, have no choice but to trust this long, long process, but this team is coming together. The right moves are being made and the team is being patient. With the shape of the Eastern Conference, after these signings, and if no major injuries occur, the team may make a push for the playoffs this year.