”I don't think you're going to get honesty from that front office... I don't expect the agents who worked with me to ever trust that front office again.” JJ Redick poured some gasoline on the Pelicans front office, threw a match in there, and walked away. On the latest episode of his podcast, Redick shared his side of the story about the trade to Dallas, which resulted in him describing David Griffin and Trajan Langdon as dishonest and unreliable.
To sum it up, Redick asked for a trade in November, as soon as Jrue Holiday got traded to Milwaukee. If you're playing for Stan Van Gundy, you understand "Stan is very much obsessed with matchups. You guard one guy on the court." The moment Holiday and Kenrich Williams were traded, Redick knew he wouldn't get playing time because of his defensive deficiencies. In combination with that, the new COVID protocols and the sudden December start to the season made it clear for JJ he wouldn't be able to see his family living in Brooklyn as often as he expected. So all that resulted in Redick asking for a trade back in November.
“So, I talk to Griff, I talk to Trajan. 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.' We've had, subsequently, four conversations, and obviously, he did not honor his word. My understanding, from February on, once I was not traded at the aggregate deadline on February 2nd, my understanding was I was going to get a buyout. 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 would be able to see my family.”
JJ Redick, The Old Man & The Three
JJ pointed out several times that his frustration with the current situation was in no way a reflection on the Dallas Mavericks. All season long, JJ's main goal was to be able to see his family on off days, and playing for a team in Texas makes that a bit difficult. Yet again, a front office created problems by making a promise they weren't sure they could keep. Still, Richard Jefferson and Robert Horry had a reality check for Redick.
Really, you thought they were gonna send you to the Nets like everyone else?? On top of this, JJ, you know this - no one cares. I respect you; no-one cares about your feelings. They don't care about any of our feelings when you're playing.
Richard Jefferson, The Jump
RJ's point was JJ should've known better. He's a veteran of the league and understands how these things work. Jefferson called the monologue from the podcast "a sob story," and pointed out it obviously worked if they're giving it a segment on the Jump. But in the grand scheme of things, no-one will shed a tear for JJ Redick. Robert Horry was a lot tougher on Redick.
My whole thing is, JJ, what have you done for them? That's what it boils down to. Have you won a championship for this organization? No. Have you been an MVP for this organization? No. Have you been an All-Star? No. YOU DON'T GET TO SAY WHERE YOU GO! You go where they send you, what's best for the organization. Not what's best for you, and that's what's wrong with a lot of these guys. 'Oh, I want to go here.' Hell, I wanted to stay in Houston, but I got traded to Phoenix, and I didn't want that. So get over it, this is the NBA; it's a business. Handle it.
Robert Horry, The Jump
Horry made an excellent point. JJ had the opportunity to be closer to his family but chose to sign a two-year $26.5 million contract in New Orleans. You can't have your cake and eat it too. I'm sure the Pelicans would agree to an $18 million for two years and a no-trade clause type of deal, but players don't do that. Yet, after they sign on the dotted line and collect the checks, they complain. A contract is a binding legal document - once you sign it, don't try and change the rules of the game. They give you the millions - you play.
Look, if Griff made JJ a promise he didn't keep, that's one thing. But this overall narrative that players get to dictate the terms of the deal once the contract has been signed is getting ridiculous. Don Draper said it best.