At least for the duration of this season, the Mavericks won’t have to worry about J.J. Redick puncturing any of their dreams with his deadeye outside shooting.
Like the time late in the 2016-17 season, while playing for the Los Angeles Clippers, when Redick incinerated the Mavericks with 25 points on 5-of-8 3-point shooting in an 11-point LA win.
Or the time in April, 2019, when Redick had 26 points at American Airlines Center.
The 6-3 shooting guard has been a pain in the neck to deal with for just about every NBA team at some point. The Mavericks are banking on him doing more of the same now that he’s joined them.
They traded for Redick just before Thursday’s deadline, also getting Nicolo Melli in the deal from New Orleans. They gave up James Johnson, Wes Iwundu, cash considerations and their second-round pick in this summer’s draft.
“Redick is a great shooter,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “You can never have too much shooting on your roster.
“He’s had such a long and productive career. He really fought his way into the lineup in Orlando early in his career. And he just got better and better and better. In terms of precision, in terms of route-running, using screens, knocking in open shots, he’s one of the best shooters really in the history of the game. I have no doubt about that.
“And I also see him as a guy that’s been a great system player in this league. Anywhere he’s gone, he’s found a way to not only fit in, but be productive and thrive and make that situation better. And we’re certainly looking forward to having him here for those reasons.”
The Mavericks are getting Redick at a good time. He’s usually played better as the season gets closer to the finish line. His 13.9-point average in 81 career April games is his highest scoring average for any month (minimum 10 games).
He also has a ton of experience in big-time moments, having played in 110 playoff games in his 15-year NBA career. For a Mavericks’ team that has very little postseason experience, his savvy should come in handy when the playoffs come around.
“Playoff experience is always a positive,” Carlisle said. “There’s just a lot that a team can take from that, from a pure locker room situation with a young team. Our guys seeing how a guy like that prepares himself to play in the playoffs, which is what we’re obviously trying to do here, (is crucial). There are both tangibles and intangibles and those are some of the reasons we felt he could really help us here.”
There are some concerns about Redick, mainly with the right heel inflammation he’s battled for the last few weeks. The issue required non-surgical treatment.
There is no time frame for when Redick will be in a Mavericks’ uniform, but it will require some rehab, which could be done outside of Dallas.
“I don’t have exact timetable,” Carlisle said. “I spoke with him earlier today and he said that it’s progressing. He’s not sure what the timetable is, but he was very upbeat about how he’s been doing better and better as time has gone on, so we’ll certainly hope for the best.”
Added president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson: “Our expectation is Melli will meet us in New Orleans. With J.J., it’s a little different. Casey (Smith, director of player health and performance) has a relationship with him from USA Basketball and is communicating with him. We want to make sure that heel is 100 percent and so that’s more of a situation where we maybe have him work out and then slowly when it’s comfortable to integrate and come to Dallas.”
While Redick has had one of his worst statistical seasons so far in 2020-21, the value of having a next-level 3-point shooter added to the roster cannot be underestimated.
Go back to 2011, when the Mavericks added a Peja Stojakovic, who would turn 34 during the NBA Finals that season. After a two-week boot camp, Stojakovic turned into a valuable weapon, particularly in the playoffs, because of his long-range shooting.
And while Redick is shooting only 36.4 percent from 3-point range this season, last season he hit better than 45 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.
A shooter of his ability typically does not lose that touch overnight. If Redick can resolve the heel issue that has kept him out since March 4, then there is no reason to believe he won’t be an elite floor spacer.
In the 10 games before he went out, Redick hit 40.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Redick, according to various reports, could have been a candidate for a buyout by the Pelicans, which would have allowed him to become a free agent and pick and choose his next destination.
That obviously didn’t happen.
“Obviously, the big thing for him is getting that heel right,” said Nelson. “I think the preference would have been in a buyout situation to be able to pick his location. But it didn’t happen like that.
“So I think he’s really excited. He told me Luka’s one of his favorite players and Luka had a chance to exchange some texts with him, as did Dirk (Nowitzki). And I think he’s pretty excited about coming to Dallas.”