Pelicans guard J.J. Redick asked New Orleans’ front office for a trade back in November around the time the team dealt Jrue Holiday to Milwaukee, Redick said today on the latest episode of his Old Man and the Three podcast (video link).
As Redick explains, the opportunity to play with Holiday was one of the main reasons he initially signed with the Pelicans in 2019. Holiday’s departure – and an expectation that his own playing time would be cut back under Stan Van Gundy – played a part in Redick’s decision to ask for a trade. The distance from his family in Brooklyn was also a major factor, since various league and local COVID-19 protocols prevented him from getting many opportunities to see them.
Redick said he had “transparent” conversations with Pelicans executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin and GM Trajan Langdon and felt as if they had reached an understanding.
“Griff 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,’” said Redick, who added that he had four conversations directly with Griffin after that point. “… Obviously he did not honor his word.”
Redick made it clear that his comments aren’t intended as a slight toward Dallas. He said he’s looking forward to bringing leadership and shooting to the Mavericks and playing alongside Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, adding that he told team owner Mark Cuban, “In any other year, I’d be thrilled to be traded to the Dallas Mavericks.” However, the Mavs weren’t one of the teams that Redick and the Pelicans had discussed as a potential landing spot.
According to Redick, he thought that if he wasn’t going to be traded by the “aggregate deadline” of February 2 (the last day a player could be traded and still have his salary aggregated in a second trade at the deadline), he was headed for a buyout agreement with New Orleans. That would allow him to sign with any team, and he suggested he would have considered a handful of teams in the northeast.
“(My understanding was) if I was going to be traded, it was going to be 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,” Redick said. “Obviously that didn’t happen.
“… I look at the buyout situation not as me just specifically being like, ‘Oh, I’m going to get bought out and go to Brooklyn,’” he added. “I just wanted to be able, on an off day, to go see my family and to be within sort of driving distance. … Geographically, you can sort of think of the teams where that’s the case.”
Although Redick said he had an “amazing” year-and-a-half with the Pelicans, he admitted that the way the relationship ended was far from ideal.
“I don’t think you’re going to get honesty from that front office. Just objectively speaking — that’s not an opinion, I just don’t think you’re going to get that,” Redick said. “I don’t think what happened with me is necessarily an isolated incident either. I do think across the league, front offices, they act in their own best interest. I get that, I understand that.
“Truthfully, and it’s hard for me to admit this, but I think I was a little naive in thinking that because I was in year 15 and I had at least attempted to do things right throughout my career and I honored my end of the bargain (that the Pelicans would reciprocate)… but in terms of this front office, it’s not something where I would expect certainly the agents who worked on this with me to ever trust that front office again.”
Redick will speak to reporters in a Zoom press conference on Thursday and expects to be with the Mavs on Friday, though he said he’s still rehabbing his heel issue and is likely “a little ways away” from returning to the court.