JJ Redick sounds off on New Orleans Pelicans front office’s handling of trade to Dallas Mavericks

3:07 PM ET

Andrew Lopespan

J.J. Redick criticized the New Orleans front office for the way they handled his deal with the Dallas Mavericks last week. He said executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin did not keep his word to put Redick in a favorable position to be closer to his family.

Redick, who signed a two-year, $26.5 million contract with the Pelicans as a free agent in the summer of 2019, said on his podcast The Old Man & the Three, which aired Wednesday, that he requested the deal last November for several reasons. One reason was to be closer to family in Brooklyn, where her son had gone to kindergarten and could not go to New Orleans because of quarantine rules at school. Another reason is the Pelicans’ trade of former guard Jrue Holiday, which Redick said was one of the main reasons he wanted to play in New Orleans.

He passed this on to Griffin and general manager Traian Langdon. Redick said that while his agent was taking care of business, he had also spoken personally with Griffin.

I talked to Griff. I have spoken to Trajan. Griff actually tells me: Go down for a month. If you still want to be traded, I give you my word, I will put you in a situation that will please you. We’ve had four follow-up calls, Redick said in the podcast. Again, my agent talked to them. But I’ll talk to Griff directly. Griff and I had a personal relationship.

Apparently, he didn’t keep his word.

When asked by podcast co-host Tommy Alter if he thought players could trust Pelicans management to promote them, Redick was unequivocal.

I don’t think you’ll get honesty from this office, objectively, Reddick said. This is not an opinion… I don’t think you understand. I also don’t think what happened to me was an isolated incident. But I think throughout the league, in the offices, they act in their best interest. I’ve got it. I understand that.

Honestly – and this is hard for me to admit – I think I was a little naive to think about this because I was 15 years old, and at least I tried to do it right throughout my career, and I did my share of the deal, but as far as this front office goes, yeah, it’s not something I would expect the agents who worked with me on this project to trust again.

Redick said he understood that if he met the February 2 deadline. February is not returned, is released and may go to the team of his choice. Redick wanted to be assigned to a team in the Northeast, where he could be closer to his family in Brooklyn.

That’s not how I see the ransom situation: Oh, I’ll get bought out and go to the [Brooklyn] [Nets], he said. I just wanted to be able to visit my family on a day off and be closer to them.

Redick, 36, said he would join the Mavericks on Thursday when the team arrives in New York, as they must play against the Knicks on Friday. He will recover from his heel surgery on his own in New York and then rejoin the team.

Redick said he had made it clear in a conversation with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban that he was in no way upset with Dallas, and that he was looking forward to playing with two outstanding young players in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.

When Griffin was asked about the Redick trade last week, he acknowledged the pressure COVID-19 puts on families, but said the team has spent most of the year trying to bring Redick closer to his family.

We spent a lot of time trying to get J.J. closer to home, Griffin said Friday. When it became clear that the teams that were regionally best for him were not necessarily the most aggressive in bringing him in, we talked about the importance of fighting right away as he gets older.

I think we were confident that JJ would have the best chance to compete, because we’re not even in the game at this point. We felt it was the right thing to do for him and his family.

On Wednesday, shortly after Redick’s comments were revealed, Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy spoke to the media and said the blame mostly lies with the franchise.

JJ] had things he wanted to see happen. But I think Griff cared a lot about what J.J. wanted, but he has a responsibility to Gail Benson and the organization that replaced everything, Van Gundy said.

Look, the only thing that concerns me… and I think I’ve been consistent about it my whole career… You hear people say from time to time that it’s a business, and it is. Players will want to do what is best for them, and they have every right to do so, and organizations have every right to do what is best for them. I get in trouble when I feel like it’s an issue on my end, but it shouldn’t be an issue on your end. It’s not fair. It’s a deal for both parties.

Everyone should do what’s best for them. That part, the business part of basketball, when it comes to trades and attracting free agents and stuff – everybody has to do what’s in their best interest. Unfortunately, there are times when a player’s desires and a team’s desires are diametrically opposed. It’s unfortunate, but that’s only part of it.

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