The Dallas Mavericks added two new pieces to the team at the trade deadline. We’ve seen one - to great fan acclaim - in Nicoló Melli’s debut against the OKC Thunder. The other, JJ Redick - arguably the centerpiece of the entire trade - is still rehabbing a foot injury and has yet to join the team, let alone play in a game. The combined with a quizzical press conference from Donnie Nelson left fans with more questions than answers.
In an interview after the trade, Nelson said about Redick “I think the preference would have been—in a buy-out situation—to be able to pick his location, but it didn’t happen like that,” before following up that, despite his playing situation not going according to plan, the he believed Redick was excited to join the Mavs. There was a not-insignificant MFFL twitter uproar as fans wondered whether or not Redick would join the team at all. Well, JJ jumped onto his weekly podcast The Old Man and the Three on Wednesday to clear the air and talk some fans off the ledge.
“Mavs twitter, you can calm the fuck down.”
Redick addressed the more reactionary portion of the Mavericks fanbase with some levity. “I will be with the team this week in NY. The plan is to see them on Thursday, and I’ll be at the game Friday in the Garden,” he went on to say, which should at least assuage fans most paranoid concerns.
So there you go. We will be seeing JJ in a Mavericks’ jersey, though there’s no timetable as to when that might be as he works back from his heel injury. Redick stated he’s been getting work court work in the past week or so, but is still a ways off from getting back into a game.
Traded during Pilates
Redick went into some background on his podcast about how he found out he was traded. Namely, that he was in the middle of doing Pilates.
At about 2:30 on the day of the deadline, Redick had assumed he’d be heading toward a buyout, only to return to many missed calls from his agent. Redick himself said plainly that he was expecting - and even hoping for - a buyout that would allow him to join a team closer to his family in Brooklyn. While making sure to clarify he has nothing but good things to say about Dallas as an organization, it doesn’t seem like Redick had ever anticipated becoming a Maverick at this point in his career.
Nevertheless, he seemed upbeat about joining the team and its two “transcendent young payers” in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, and noted that he liked the depth of the Mavs rosters, naming Tim Hardaway Jr, Jalen Brunson, Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith.
While he had nothing but kind words for the New Orleans fanbase, teammates, and city, calling it a gem of the United States, Redick didn’t hide the fact that he was a bit miffed with the Pelicans’ front office.
Having initially joined the team in large part due to Jrue Holiday and his defensive versatility, only to see Holiday traded away as the league re-opened, Redick says he went to Basketball Vice President David Griffin and requested a trade.
“I talked to Griff, I talked to (Pelicans GM) 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.’”
Obviously, that’s not how things unfolded with JJ moving now to Dallas, a city even further away from Brooklyn than New Orleans is. Redick, while never sounding too bend out of shape with how things went, fired some barbs at the front office on his way out, saying of Griffen “obviously, he did not honor his word,” and of the Pelicans as a whole, ““I don’t think you’re going to get honesty from that front office... certainly the agents that worked on this with me to ever trust that front office again.”
So there’s your dose of league drama. While he might not have chosen Dallas, JJ is ready to join the team and offer whatever he can as a shooter and veteran presence.