J.J. Redick’s third foray into NBA free agency was successful – on July 1, he agreed to a one-year, $23 million deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.
But while the outcome was positive for Redick, he insisted that the overall experience was not.
Speaking with Business Insider, Redick acknowledged that free agency was often stressful. That’s because players, he said, have less control over the outcome than most people imagine.
“You think, in theory, that free agency is going to be this great process where you have control and there’s some sort of level of certainty,” Redick said. “But the reality – at least my reality in my three experiences of free agency – is it’s very uncertain. There is no control.”
Redick noted that circumstances could change quickly and affect possible landing spots, pointing to the Indiana Pacers trading Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder on July 1 and the Philadelphia 76ers trading up for the No. 1 pick in the draft.
“So many things can happen that sort of affect which teams would offer you money and how much money, how many years, all those things,” Redick said. “So you’re kind of like a bystander to the whole thing and kind of have to be ready to pull the trigger whenever the opportunity presents itself.”
Redick documented his free agency with Uninterrupted, the media company started by LeBron James. A 15-minute short film shows the work that goes into moving, negotiating, and weighing the decision. The goal of the documentary, Redick said, is to show that athletes aren’t “robots” and that a lot goes into such decisions including team fit, location, and impact on one’s family.
Redick said: “So much of free agency now is [Adrian Wojnarowski’s] Twitter bombs, Kevin Pelton’s grades … but we’re not just these little robots you put in spots – we’re human beings who have to make real-life decisions. In my case, I have a wife and two kids, two young boys, and so a lot of the decisions I make as a professional are because of the personal relationships I have in my life.”
Even with Redick’s high salary for 2017-2018 – a deal he called “insane” – the free-agency outcome still wasn’t ideal. On his podcast (also on Uninterrupted), Redick, 33, said he was hoping for a longer deal, which would mean more long-term security. Instead, in the opening hours of free agency, he realized he wasn’t going to get the length of a deal he wanted.
In NBA free agency the perfect situation rarely exists. While it may seem that players get to have their choice of a new team, city, and situation, those choices usually come at the expense of something else. For Redick, he got the money and a culture he liked in Philadelphia, but he didn’t get the years he wanted.
Watch our interview with Redick below.