JJ Redick snubs Anthony Davis before even becoming Lakers head coach

JJ Redick recently revealed his ballot for the 2023-24 NBA awards. One player who was missing from the All-Defensive Teams: Lakers star Anthony Davis.
Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets - Game Five
Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets - Game Five / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

While the search for a head coach is reportedly still ongoing, many believe it to be a foregone conclusion that JJ Redick will ultimately become the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. It's an extraordinary gamble on the Lakers' behalf, as Redick has yet to coach at the professional or collegiate levels.

There are some in Los Angeles who see Redick as a Pat Riley-level coaching prospect, however, and the early signs are that he may be playing a Riley brand of mind games.

Redick took to his YouTube channel to reveal his ballot for the 2023-24 NBA awards. That includes All-Defense, which is an honor that Lakers superstar Anthony Davis earned, even receiving a First Team designation.

It's worth noting that Redick named Davis to his All-NBA Third Team, selecting him after LeBron James and stating the following for his case:

"I can't deny that Anthony Davis had an outstanding individual season. The defensive numbers for the Lakers as a team are not great. They've been basically right around league average all year. But his impact defensively, particularly protecting the paint, at the rim, all of the metrics say he's been a top-10 defender at that position. You factor in that with 25 and 12. A boost in assists this year. Anthony Davis gets the final spot on my Third Team All-NBA."

Clearly, Redick knows how great of a player Davis is. In terms of his opinion on the Lakers' success, however, there seems to be an opinion that James is still the superstar who operates as the engine in Los Angeles.

That's certainly an intriguing outlook when one considers the fact that Redick could be coaching Davis and James in 2024-25.

Davis was ultimately named to the All-NBA Second Team and All-Defensive First Team. He averaged 24.7 points, 12.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.3 blocks, and 1.2 steals while shooting 55.6 percent from the field and 81.7 percent from the free throw line.

James had an incredible season in his own right, but it seems a bit unfair to penalize Davis for the team's overall defensive play.

The 2023-24 season was defined by injuries and inconsistency in Los Angeles. The starting lineup was generally healthy, with the exception of Rui Hachimura missing 14 games, but the bench was depleted and painfully erratic on the basis of availability alone.

Jarred Vanderbilt missed 53 games, for instance, while Cam Reddish was out for 34 and Christian Wood was absent for 32.

Regardless, it's going to be interesting to see how Redick diagnoses the roster once he's up close and personal with it. He may prioritize building around a 39-year-old James, or he could pivot to help highlight the strengths that Davis brings to the table.

The Lakers should just be hoping that this is an early Riley tactic of motivating a potential player under his leadership through a perceived snub.