JJ Redick planning strategy that will directly impact Anthony Davis, LeBron James

Recently hired Los Angeles Lakers head coach JJ Redick already has a plan in mind to alter the way LeBron James and Anthony Davis are used on offense.
Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks
Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers have ended the speculation and officially hired JJ Redick as head coach. It ends a tense six weeks since Darvin Ham was fired and Redick emerged as the heavy favorite to replace him.

In the immediate aftermath of the hiring, details are already emerging about how Redick plans to transform the Lakers as soon as the 2024-25 season.

Los Angeles won 47 games in 2023-24, qualifying for the Play-In Tournament before losing to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the Playoffs. It was a disappointing result for a team that won a title in 2019-20 and reached the Western Conference Finals in 2022-23.

Redick seems to have already identified a design flaw that may have cost the Lakers regular season wins and a better shot at advancing in the postseason.

According to Shams Charania, Sam Amick, and Jovan Buha of The Athletic, Redick plans to alter the Lakers' approach on offense to focus more on Davis and thus preserve James' energy.

"He explained his decision-making process when it comes to strategy, how the analysis and empirical evidence would always guide his choices rather than preconceived notions or outdated beliefs. Redick described a system molded around this roster, focusing on elevating Anthony Davis’ involvement, particularly late in games, and alleviating the constant ballhandling duties on James by utilizing him more off the ball. Keeping James, who turns 40 in December, fresh down the stretch of the regular season and into the playoffs will be critical."

It's hard to find a flaw in the logic of putting less pressure on a player who will be 40 years of age, let alone when the alternative is playing through a five-time All-NBA honoree in their prime.

James is one of the greatest playmakers in the history of the Association. The unfortunate reality is that he's missed at least 26 games in four of the past six seasons—and staying healthy won't get any easier as he approaches his age-40 season.

James was able to play 71 games this past season, his most since 2017-18, but Redick seemingly believes his usage in the regular season can diminish his value in the Playoffs.

The current roster could undergo significant changes this offseason, most notably as starting point guard D'Angelo Russell potentially enters free agency. Regardless, the fact that Redick is looking at the existing players instead of projecting changes that may not be possible is a positive sign.

It also bodes well for Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and restricted free agent Max Christie, who have all been identified as players the Lakers hope to see the new coach develop.

With an emphasis placed on building for the future, Redick has thus far embraced the need to simultaneously alleviate pressure from James in the short term. The new approach could extend James' career and help Davis take another step forward as an offensive focal point.

It's all conjecture at this stage, but Redick is saying the right things as he prepares for the first major coaching job of his career.