For most of the teams with a player in this week’s Sheridan Hoops Sixth Man Rankings, there hasn’t been too much chatter.
The majority of teams with a stud player coming off the bench is in no need of a trade, because the majority of teams with a solid sixth man are in line to at the very least compete deep into the playoffs.
Now, there are obvious exceptions to this rule. Ryan Anderson, who has been as high as No. 2 in the rankings, is on the New Orleans Hornets, who haven’t been in the playoff hunt all season. Anderson’s name came up in trade conversation earlier this season, but it was in a rumor that the Lakers wanted him, not that the Hornets were moving him.
The player from this list whose name has been brought up fairly consistently in trade chatter is Orlando shooting guard J.J. Redick, primarily because of the combination of his skill set and contract.
Redick is having his best season, with career high numbers in scoring (15.3), rebounding (2.5), assists (4.5) and field goal percentage (.452). He is just 28, has 44 playoff games under his belt and spreads the floor with his range, making him very enticing to contenders.
Redick also is in the final year of a contract that pays him $6 million this season, a favorable number and one that is not hard to match salary-wise. He has a shoulder injury but an MRI showed no structural damage.
The other members of the Sixth Man Rankings play for teams with solid records. Odds are most of them will stay put and continue the hunt for the NBA championship.
Despite a shoulder injury to Jamal Crawford and a rare losing streak for his Los Angeles Clippers, they remain very much a contender. Crawford is a huge part of that plan.
Despite a surprising loss at Cleveland last week, the Oklahoma City Thunder continue to roll over most teams, and Kevin Martin has looked great in the process. Like Redick, his shooting percentages, both from the field (.455) and the arc (.440) are career highs, all the more impressive considering he has had to find a fit with a new team and new role.
And J.R. Smith remains New York’s second option behind superstar forward Carmelo Anthony. His burden may be reduced as Amar’e Stoudemire continues to round into form but his offense is still needed for the Knicks to be successful.
With the trade deadline less than two weeks away, almost every player – solidified in their rotation spot or not – is typically worried at this juncture of the campaign. Once the deadline passes, players know where they will be as the playoff hunt gets more interesting. Often, that brings on better basketball.
For a guy like Redick, who already is having a career year and is looking at potentially lucrative free agency, that could be all the more intriguing.
Without further ado, onto this week’s rankings: