Adrian Wojnarowski: Sixers should pursue J.J. Redick in free agency

Adrian Wojnarowski: Sixers should pursue J.J. Redick in free agency

The Sixers were awarded the third-overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft on Tuesday, but they’re expected to be major players in free agency as well, and the league’s most prominent reporter has linked the club to Clippers guard J.J. Redick.

Redick is going to be in “great demand” when the market opens on July 1, particularly among Eastern Conference teams, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski. While the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks could enter the chase for the 12-year veteran as well, Woj believes the most intriguing fit may be with the Sixers.

“(Redick is) their chance to maybe get that shooting and get a veteran who would be tremendous in that locker room, to help build a culture and environment, to put him alongside Ben Simmons,” Wojnarowski said on Wednesday.

“They’re going to have to pay. He’s going to be in that $16-17 million-plus range as a free agent, but that’s going to I think play into what Philadelphia does here at three.”

Redick was a role player for eight seasons with the Orlando Magic before signing with the Clippers in 2013 and becoming a starter. He’s been a consistent scorer for L.A., averaging 15.8 points per game in 28.9 minutes over four seasons, and leading the NBA in three-point shooting percentage in ’15-16.

Outside shooting is an area where the Sixers are lacking. Nik Stauskas led the team with a 36.8 shooting percentage last season, followed by center Joel Embiid at 36.7 percent and Hollis Thompson -- waived in January -- at 36.6 percent. Redick shot 42.9 percent from downtown in ’16-17.

Redick has his limitations and turns 33 in June, but he certainly fits the bill as an outside shooter and veteran presence. With Simmons and Embiid drawing a lot of attention inside, Redick would see plenty of open looks, which he’s proven capable of knocking down. In fact, the makeup of the Sixers’ frontcourt is not entirely unlike the Clippers’, which is probably why he seems like an obvious fit.

The money seems high, but that’s the cost of doing business. And if the Sixers choose somebody like Kansas’ Josh Jackson in the draft -- somebody whose shot needs work -- the need to add a sniper in the backcourt will only increase.

Redick isn’t the type of player who is going create as much excitement as the third pick in the draft, but he certainly makes a lot of sense for the Sixers, even as currently constructed. Heavy competition for his services could be an issue, although this might be the best situation for Redick to succeed as well.

Even on honeymoon, Jon Dorenbos performs wild magic trick with coin

Even on honeymoon, Jon Dorenbos performs wild magic trick with coin

Magic never stops.

Not even on Jon Dorenbos' honeymoon.

The Eagles' long snapper and magic enthusiast is enjoying picturesque Bora Bora with his wife Annalise.

Still, fresh off his wedding and surrounded by water way too blue, Dorenbos wasn't about to stop entertaining us as he posted this crazy coin trick on his Instagram account.

Bora Bora Magic - I love this move. @apollorobbins showed me this 15 years ago. #honeymoon

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Pretty darn cool — and, seriously, how does he do it?

And don't worry, Dorenbos is clearly having a great time on the honeymoon, not just blowing our minds with cool magic.

Amazing. #honeymoon #paradise

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How Jim Thome got his batting stance thanks to Charlie Manuel and 'The Natural'

How Jim Thome got his batting stance thanks to Charlie Manuel and 'The Natural'

If there's anyone in the world I could sit next to for hours and listen to talk about baseball it would be former Phillies manager and World Champion of baseball Charlie Manuel.

Charlie is still very involved in the Phillies organization to this day and we're lucky enough to have 45 minutes of his time talking ball with longtime Phillies scribe Jim Salisbury.

Those two know the Phillies just about as well as anybody, so there's plenty of meat on the bone to chew on. The duo chatted for a recent episode of Sully's "At The Yard" podcast.

The story that caught my ear the most was Charlie's telling of how Jim Thome came to have that somewhat-goofy stance before he hits. It was a timing mechanism that Manuel stumbled upon in the strangest of ways.

This was when both Charlie and Jim were working for a Cleveland Indians' affiliate in the minors. 

"We were playing in Scranton and it was a Phillies triple-A team at the time. I kept thinking of a timing mechanism of some kind, a waggle or something, what Thome could do with his bat where he wouldn't tense up, where it would help him to relax and everything."

"I came into our locker room early," Manuel said. "I didn't let my players turn the TV on after a certain time. I came through the clubhouse that day, they had 'The Natural' on. I told 'em to turn it off. Some of the players said, 'Hey, Charlie, we're watching The Natural can we watch the end of The Natural? I said, 'Not really, what's the rule?'

"I saw Robert Redford standing there pointing the bat with one hand, bringing it back. I looked over at Thome, I said, 'you can finish watching the movie. From now on that's going to be your load.' I took him down in the cage and worked with him. The game started and the Phillies had a left-handed pitcher named [Kyle] Abbott. He was pitching that day. I told Jimmy, 'From now on that's your stance.' He gets up there the first time up, Abbott throws him a breaking ball away and he hit a home run to left center... I mean a longways. He come up the next time he hit another one to right center. I think he had three hits that day."

"That's a true story," Manuel added.

It sounds to good to be true. So we did a little research and Thome has told the same tale on a television special out in Chicago last summer.

"We were in Scranton and I was a guy who held the bat still and would go from a standstill and swing," Thome explained. "(Charlie) was watching The Natural and he saw that (Hobbs) kind of had this little wiggle to his stance, and I remember the day. We went out the next day, we worked early and he said 'Do me a favor and try holding the bat out there (pointing towards the pitcher) and get a little rhythm with your swing.' And from that day I never looked back. The following day we played a doubleheader and I hit two home runs."

You can listen to the whole podcast with Jim Salisbury and Charlie Manuel right here.