As the trade deadline expired, the Dallas Mavericks acquired JJ Redick and Nico Melli from the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for James Johnson, Wes Iwundu, and a 2021 second-round pick.
It was a low-cost move for the Mavs and one that shows they’re serious about making a strong push in the playoffs. Redick will improve Dallas’ roster and potentially become a fan favorite for the Mavs.
Let’s look at the attributes Redick brings to this Dallas squad that should have the fanbase extremely excited that he’s now on board for the stretch run.
JJ Redick is rediscovering his vintage shooting form
Redick is a valued role player for one reason: shooting. He’s consistently been one of the best shooters in the NBA since entering the league in 2006.
Even shooting a career low 36.4% from 3-point range this season, Redick is still hitting treys at a better clip than all but four Mavs. More encouragingly, Redick has been heating up of late, shooting 46.4% in his last 15 games.
The spacing in New Orleans with Zion Williamson was wonky, so it’s reasonable to expect playing next to Luka Doncic will help Redick tremendously.
With the Mavericks fifth in the NBA in 3-point attempts, Redick will have the green light to shoot as much as possible. By taking attempts from subpar shooters like Dorian Finney-Smith and giving them to Redick, the Mavericks should have a much stronger offense overall once their chemistry is sorted out.
JJ Redick offers key veteran leadership to younger Mavs
After bursting onto the scene at Duke, Redick became a college superstar. However, due to his defensive shortcomings, Redick had to become a role player in the NBA.
In stops at Orlando, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and New Orleans, Redick has proven to be the consummate teammate, always understanding his duty to the team. He famously made the playoffs every season of his career, until the most recent season in New Orleans.
For all the strengths of the Mavericks roster, there is a dearth of veteran leaders. Johnson was supposed to fill that void, but he barely made the rotation in the last months. Doncic and, to a lesser extent, Kristaps Porzingis are the main leaders of the Mavs. They’re both under 25 and have made the playoffs once.
Redick joins Dallas as the oldest player by four years and with more playoff appearances than the entire team combined. He’s the exact kind of person you want in a locker room with young players and his mentorship is invaluable.
JJ Redick’s expiring contract provides offseason flexibility
Outside of Redick’s ability, the Mavericks became a much better team while maintaining flexibility for the offseason. Both Melli and Redick are on expiring deals, so Dallas will still have the opportunity to sign free agents to max level contracts. With this trade, they also have a chance to pitch Redick, who may not have chosen Dallas otherwise.
Redick has $13 million remaining on the two-year deal he signed with New Orleans in 2019. There’s little chance he’d command that much on the market at 36. However, contending teams will always be interested in players like Redick. If he would accept the veteran minimum, Redick would have his choice of virtually any team in the NBA.
If he plays well in Dallas, there’s reason to be hopeful Redick would choose to resign on a short-term deal. Very few players create space like Doncic and Redick is theoretically the perfect player for the Mavericks offense. He won’t find a better fit with the Lakers, Nets, or Bucks.
If being the eighth or ninth man on one of the big contending teams is important to Redick, he’ll probably sign elsewhere in the offseason. But he could stay and have a productive role off the bench for a team that could win a championship. This could sway Redick into staying in Dallas.
Dallas gave up little of value for the best player they could possibly acquire midseason. That’s a huge win for the Mavs and Dallas fans should be excited to see how Redick fits in the team.