Four minutes before Thursday’s 2 PM trade deadline, Donnie Nelson and the Dallas Mavericks finally made a move. Dallas sent James Johnson, Wes Iwundu, and a second-round pick to New Orleans for JJ Redick and Nicolo Melli. The Mavs added shooting and depth in JJ Redick in exchange for guys who rarely saw the floor. Dallas went the whole day without being mentioned once in any sort of rumor or report, so many of us expected nothing to happen, but the front office pulled one off with minutes to spare.
Of course, the trade didn’t happen without dramatics. After Shams Charania tweeted and deleted multiple tweets detailing the specifics of the trade and many minutes of silence, it seemed possible that the trade had fallen through last minute, similar to the Goran Dragic trade that fell apart two summers ago. According to Tim Cato of The Athletic, the Mavericks were to receive JJ Redick from the Pelicans and Trey Lyles from the Spurs, but the Spurs changed their mind leaving Dallas and New Orleans scrambling to revise the trade quickly. 32 minutes after the trade was announced, Shams tweeted the details and the trade was officially announced to Twitter.
JJ Redick has continued to be one of the NBA’s notorious journeymen. The Dallas Mavericks will be the sixth team that the 36-year-old veteran suits up for, the others being Orlando, Milwaukee, LAC, Philadelphia, and New Orleans. This year, his numbers have considerably dipped. Redick is averaging 8 PPG and is shooting only 36% from three, which is the lowest percentage he has shot since his one season with the Bucks. But, despite the drop in production, he does add a pure shooting element to the offense that Dallas has missed since they traded Seth Curry. Behind Maxi Kleber and Tim Hardaway Jr. not many dudes on the roster can hit threes at a consistent knockdown rate. JJ Redick can do that and his numbers will almost certainly come up playing with Luka Doncic in the Mavericks offense. Nicolo Melli seems to be more of a throw-in piece. Shams referred to him as a “shooter” but Melli is shooting less than 20% from long range this year, so he seems to be a depth guy.
Dallas said goodbye to two of last offseason’s acquisitions in James Johnson and Wes Iwundu, neither of whom saw the floor regularly. James Johnson makes $16 million annually while Redick makes $13 million annually so the money matches up. Rick Carlisle recently praised Johnson, calling him the spiritual leader of the team, so the guys in the locker room will be sad to see him go. Iwundu’s production peaked during the COVID outbreak for Dallas and his offensive numbers were not great. Defensively, however, he always played with unmatched energy which is something that any team could use.
Thursday’s trade deadline was a win for the Mavericks. Redick may not have been the exciting deal some were hoping for, but Nelson and Co. did what they could with the assets that they had. Redick has been one of the NBA’s best shooters over the past decade. Just last season he scored 15 PPG on 45% three-point shooting, so his production was great recently. A fresh start with one of the league’s best playmakers could be what JJ Redick needs to bring that production back.
In addition to draining threes, Redick also hosts his own podcast, so Mavs’ fans can expect some fun content from there too.