In the summer of 2019, J.J. Redick took the money and signed a two-year, $25 million contract with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Heading into the second year of that contract this season, Redick wanted to be traded to a team closer to his family in the Northeast, or ultimately to be bought out so he could sign as a free agent in the region — a lot of players have wanted to be closer to family during the pandemic. It didn’t work out that way. Redick struggled on the court — his 36.4% from three this season is well off from his career 41.5% from deep — and his $13 million contract had teams hesitant to make a move. In the end, the Pelicans traded Redick at the deadline to Dallas.
“I don’t think you’re going to get honesty from that front office, objectively speaking. That’s not an opinion, I just don’t think you’re gonna get that. I don’t think what happened with me is necessarily an isolated incident. I think front offices around the league operate in their best interest. I get that. I understand that.
“Truthfully… I think I was a little naive thinking I was in Year 15 and I attempted to do things right throughout my career. But in terms of this front office, yeah, it’s not something where I would expect certainly the agents who worked on this with me to ever trust that front office again.”
Here is what Pelicans decision maker David Griffin said of the trade after the deadline, via Andrew Lopez of ESPN.
Asked Pelicans executive David Griffin about the JJ trade last week when he talked to the media.
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) March 31, 2021
This feels like a situation where nobody could get what they wanted. When Griffin signed Redick, he rightfully expected it would be a lot easier to trade him than it ended up being. Redick didn’t want to be part of what was coming with Stan Van Gundy in New Orleans and wanted out, and as a 15-year veteran he thought he would get some deference with his request to get back closer to home. I will not pretend to know what was said behind closed doors, but this may simply have been a situation where it was not possible to make everybody happy and check every box with this trade. That happens in basketball (and life).
The Pelicans had to know these comments were coming with Redick’s honesty and outspoken style of podcast.
(And please, don’t come with the “Zion Williamson is going to force a trade now” take out of this, he’s a second-year player without real leverage that will be in New Orleans for a long time.)