On his The Old Man & The Three podcast on Wednesday that he co-hosts, guard JJ Redick criticized New Orleans Pelicans executive vice-president of basketball operations David Griffin for not honoring his word.
Redick also expressed his strong desire to play for the Dallas Mavericks, although he admitted he was shocked he was traded to the Mavs and would rather be playing somewhere closer to his wife and two young kids, who reside in Brooklyn.
The Mavs acquired Nicolo Melli and Redick in a trade with the Pelicans last week for James Johnson, Wes Iwundu, a second-round draft pick and cash considerations. But even before the season started in December, Redick said he went to Griffin and requested a trade, preferably to a team in the Northeast portion of the United States.
“Grif basically says to me, ‘Come down for a month, if you still want to be traded, I give you my word I’ll get you to a situation that you like, ’ “ Redick said. “We have had subsequently four conversations. Again, my agent talks to him, but I’m talking to Griff directly. That’s how I wanted to handle this. Grif and I had a personal relationship.
“Obviously he did not honor his word. And again, that is not a slight on Dallas at all. My understanding basically from February on, once I was not traded at the aggregate deadline on Feb. 2, my understanding all along was that I was going to get a buyout. And if I was going to be traded it was going to be to a team in the Northeast where I was closer to home and I’d be able to see my family for the last two or three months of the season. Obviously that didn’t happen. Geographically speaking of course, Dallas is farther away from New York than New Orleans.”
Redick described the Mavs’ situation as “really great,” and that he can’t wait to start working with his new team. He added that he has “huge respect” for owner Mark Cuban, coach Rick Carlisle and general manager and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson and what they’ve built in Dallas. He also said he’s excited to play with “two more transcending young players” in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.
“Having just been on the Pelicans with a bunch of those guys and now getting a chance to play with Luka and KP, and obviously they have a bunch of great guys like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson, Maxi Kleber, Josh Richardson, Dorian Finney-Smith, they’ve got a deep team,” Redick said. “I’m hoping to just add some leadership, add some shooting.”
Redick will meet the Mavs in New York on Thursday and also do a Zoom interview with the media after Thursday’s practice. The Mavs will play the Knicks in New York on Friday – Redick plans to attend that game — but Redick won’t be playing because he’s still rehabbing his sore right heel.
“Beyond that I don’t really have a firm timetable (to play again), because I am still rehabbing my heel and my Achilles from my injection,” Redick said. “I’ve been on the court for eight of the last nine days doing work, and I feel like I’m progressing, but I’m probably a little bit away from playing.”
Redick said he was at a Pilates class with his wife, Chelsea, when he found out he had been traded to the Mavs.
“My wife recently got re-certified to teach Pilates while simultaneously getting her real estate license here in New York,” Redick said. “So on Thursday I went to the Pilates session with her at 2 o’clock and had my phone off to the side. We did some mat work and at about 2:30, 3, I looked at my phone, and there was nothing on my phone (in regards to a trade), and I thought, ‘Oh, I’m in the clear here.’ “
From there, Redick said he went over to stretch and: “Chelsea picked up her phone and she’s like, ‘Why do I have three missed calls from your agent?’ So I looked at my phone and I’ve got three missed calls from my agent, I’ve got a bunch of people texting me and I’m like, ‘Oh gosh, what’s happening?’ “
That’s when Redick called his agent to find out what was going on, and discovered he had been traded to the Mavs.
“I was shocked, I was floored,” said Redick, who signed a two-year, $26.5 million free agent contract with the Pelicans in 2019. “I was not expecting, at that point, to get traded. And again, this is not any sort of slight on the Dallas Mavericks, but the Dallas Mavericks weren’t one of the teams – at any point and time – that we had discussed, so I was just a little jarred by that.
“I called Mark afterwards and what I told Mark was – Cuban, of course – in any other year I’d be thrilled to get traded to the Dallas Mavericks. It’s one of the premier organizations, I think Rick is one of the best coaches, and as we just discussed, the opportunity to play with a guy like Luka and Kristaps – I went down the line with all their guys. They’ve got a great team. So it’s just a little jarring.”
It was “just a little jarring” for Redick, he said, because he said his son started kindergarten in Brooklyn back in September, and at that time he had no idea when the 2020-21 NBA season would start. And when the NBA announced that the season would start on Christmas Day, Redick said he went to Griffin in November and requested a trade to a team in the Northeast.
“The NBA sort of sprung this, ‘We’re starting Christmas Day,’ “ Redick said. “And simultaneously to that announcement, the Pelicans were trading Jrue Holiday. Jrue is the reason I went to New Orleans. As much as I was excited to play with Zion (Williamson), I was excited about the young guys they’d just gotten from the Lakers, and truthfully the contract was the best contract that was offered to me in free agency, the real excitement for me was to play with Jrue.
“If I make a buyout and go to Brooklyn, I just wanted to be able — on an off day — to go see my family and be within sort of driving distance. That was the whole goal.”
But that didn’t happen and it left Redick with a sour taste in his mouth. He also had something else to say about the Pelicans.
“I don’t think you’re going to get honesty from that front office, just objectively speaking,” Redick said. “I don’t think what happened with me is necessarily an isolated incident, either. But I do think across the league, front offices, they act in their own best interest. I get that. I understand that.
“I think truthfully — and it’s hard for me to admit this — but I think I was a little naïve in thinking that because I was in Year 15 (in the NBA) and I had at least attempted to do things right throughout my career and I honored my end of the bargain, but in terms of this front office, yeah, it’s not something where I would expect certainly the agents that worked on this with me to ever trust that front office again.”
Redick, 36, then pledged his allegiance to the Mavs.
“Again, I just want to reiterate, though, this is not in any way a reflection of my feelings towards Dallas and the Dallas Mavericks,” he said. “It’s a good basketball situation, and for someone that has not played basketball in over three weeks I’m just excited to hopefully get healthy and be back on the court and hooping with those guys in Dallas.”
Briefly: Coach Rick Carlisle said the Mavs don’t have any timetables for the return of center Willie Cauley-Stein and rookie guard Tyrell Terry. Cauley-Stein is sidelined due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, and Terry is out due to personal reasons. “We’ll keep you guys updated as we are updated,” Carlisle said. “Tyrell’s out with a personal situation and Willie’s in the protocols. We’ll let you know when we know something. Other than that, there’s not much we can talk about.”. .FOX Sports Southwest rebranded to Bally Sports Southwest on Wednesday, and the Mavs have subsequently announced changes to their local television schedule. The Mavs will have five upcoming games televised on Bally Sports Southwest Plus. They include home games Monday against Utah and April 16 against New York, and road games at Memphis on April 14, at Sacramento on April 26, and at Cleveland on May 9. Also, TXA 21 will televise a pair of Mavs’ games – April 29 at Detroit and May 1 at American Airlines Center against Washington.