At last Thursday’s NBA Trade Deadline, one of the final deals that was announced saw the Pelicans trade JJ Redick to the Mavs as Dallas looks to bolster their depth by adding a veteran shooter for the playoff push. From a basketball perspective, the deal made sense. Redick wasn’t playing in New Orleans anymore and had made clear he wanted out, and he’s a snug fit, at least offensively, for what Dallas needs.
However, Redick had personal reasons for his trade request in that he wanted to be closer to his son in Brooklyn, hoping for a trade to one of the teams in that area — mainly the Nets, Sixers, Celtics, or Knicks. On Wednesday, Redick took aim at the Pelicans front office on his podcast for what he felt was blindsiding him with a deal to Dallas, which doesn’t get him closer to his family, with the COVID-19 protocols making it difficult for him to see them. Redick felt David Griffin didn’t “honor his word” after their conversations about his desire to get back to the Northeast, and made his feelings towards the Pelicans front office very clear.
This has furthered the debate about player empowerment and the buyout market, as Redick was under the impression that if he weren’t dealt to a team in that area he would get bought out and join one of those teams. On Wednesday’s episode of The Jump on ESPN, Robert Horry and Richard Jefferson were asked about the Redick situation and, somewhat surprisingly, neither of the former players were siding with Redick.
So after JJ Redick accused the Pelicans’ David Griffin of “not honoring his word” in trading JJ to Dallas, I expected @RKHorry and @RJeff24 to side with the vet. Oh boy did they *not* do that: pic.twitter.com/qbiN543QQ4
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) March 31, 2021
Jefferson’s early “so did everyone else” about Redick wanting to be in Brooklyn is pretty funny, but it’s an interesting conversation.
As Horry notes, this is the business of basketball and the Pelicans front office’s first job is to do what’s best for the team. If there’s a trade out there that brings them assets back, that is a better move than turning that down to buyout Redick and let him go to his desired locale. Horry also points out that Redick isn’t exactly the caliber of player or have the standing within the New Orleans organization to be able to demand where he wants to go. Where Kyle Lowry can do that with Toronto — which, the limited options was a reason he wasn’t dealt — Redick doesn’t have that kind of stature with the Pelicans to have commanded the goodwill to send him to his desired location. He was still traded to a contender and a team he probably can have a solid role on in the Mavs, he just wasn’t dealt to the most coveted destination in the league right now in Brooklyn.
Jefferson then points out that Redick has embraced the “hired gun” life in recent years, inking short-term deals in order to get big money, and while pandemic restrictions certainly change the calculus for a lot of people, his choice was to go to a situation where he could make the most but it came at the cost of being further from his family. It’s a bit surprising that neither former player seems to have any sympathy for Redick’s situation, but they also are very pragmatic in their argument whereas Redick’s frustration comes from a more emotional place. Both are understandable viewpoints, but hearing two former players point out a lot of areas where Redick’s “sob story,” as Jefferson put it, falls short is pretty interesting.