Sixers' JJ Redick weighs in on Ben Simmons' jump shot form, whether he should switch hands

JJ Redick, the Sixers’ most effective jump shooter, said during a podcast he thinks rookie point guard Ben Simmons could be shooting with the wrong hand.

During a mailbag edition of ‘The JJ Redick Podcast,” the veteran shooting guard received a question regarding whether or not he has approached Simmons about switching hands, since Redick once told Clippers big man DeAndre Jordan he should switch hands.

“I’ve already suggested [switching hands] to Ben,” Redick said.

“Ben is incredible because he’s literally the most receptive young player that I’ve been around,” Redick said regarding how Simmons took the suggestion. “He seemed open to the idea. I don’t want to mess with him. I also think since I said that to him, which was like October or November, which was the first time I saw him shoot righthanded, he’s gotten better lefthanded. So I don’t know if it’s necessary.”

Simmons, like Jordan, has struggled with his free throws, shooting just 56 percent from the free throw line. The league average is 77 percent.

The exchange starts around the 48:15 mark. Here’s a transcript:

Q: How difficult do you think it will be for Ben and Markelle to improve their jumpers? Is it a question of practice time, intensity? Why do some guys like [Jason] Kidd, for example, develop them and others don’t?

Redick: I would say specifically with Ben and Markelle, there’s a functional issue in terms of shooting form. Markelle obviously had his shoulder injury, and I think Ben’s form lefthanded is worse than his form righthanded. But, I’ve seen Ben’s improvement and Ben has worked extremely hard with Lloyd Pierce, one of our assistant coaches, after pretty much every practice and every shootaround he’s worked on his shot. And he’s gotten better.

Producer: His free-throw numbers have gotten a lot better.

Redick: He’s not shooting set threes, but he does them in shootaround and I’m like ‘Ah, they look good’ and they go in. So there’s a potential there for both those guys to become good shooters. Do they need a jump shot? I think eventually if they’re going to play heavy minutes together one of them will need to be able to space the floor, that’s just the modern NBA. But right now, I don’t think so. I think they’re fine. I think both of them because of, like both of those guys want to be great. You know what I mean? Neither of those guys are like ‘I’m in the league now.’ Ben has aspirations, Markelle has aspirations. 

Producer: You can see it, we haven’t seen much of Markelle obviously but you can see it with Ben when you watch him.

Q: In 2016, you [Redick] tried to convince [Clippers big man] DeAndre Jordan to switch shooting hands. Would you ever suggest the same to Ben?

Redick: I’ve already suggested it to Ben.

Producer: How did it go over?

Redick: Ben is incredible because he’s literally the most receptive young player that I’ve ever been around. Not just with me, with any of the coaches, with Brett, he’s just really receptive. He seemed open to the idea. I don’t want to mess with him. I also think since I said that to him, which was like October or November which was the first time I saw him shoot right-handed, he’s gotten better left-handed. So I don’t know if it’s necessary with him. The other thing with Ben, too, is like — you need shooting around Ben, but I don’t think Ben ever needs to have a jump shot to be an effective player. In ‘nut-cutting’ time — as Brett calls it — in nut-cutting time in a Game 7, would it help for him to be able to knock down threes? Yeah, absolutely. But like, the guy’s going to average a triple-double or close to a triple-double for his whole career simply because he’s 6-10 and can get wherever he wants to go, and throw the ball wherever he wants it to go. 

Producer: And you want him to do the things that he feels confident doing so if he feels like he can get to the hole on every possession than do that.

Redick: Right.