In Orlando for much of the 2012 season, the focus was on Dwight Howard. He wanted the glitz, glamor and pressure that would come from playing in a big market. One of his hardest working teammates was not someone many paid attention to. Would anyone care if he too wanted to remain on a team with some relevance and thrived in those pressure situations?
Nobody cared. This was J.J. Redick. A workhorse role player and a seemingly defined shooter, he became the very odd man out in the Magic's rebuild effort. He was professional -- he never asked for a trade -- and recognized the business would probably send him along his way because of his expiring contract.
That did happen. The Magic traded him to the Bucks 10 minutes before the trade deadline and Redick got to play in the Playoffs.
This would be Redick's chance to get a big payday though. He averaged a career-best 14.1 points per game and was hitting the market as a reliable team defender and knock-down 3-point shooter. What else could a playoff team want?
Redick was well sought after in free agency. He had offers for more money. But when it came down to it, Doc Rivers and the Clippers won the day. So why turn down more money and a guaranteed chance at starting to go to the crowded backcourt in Los Angeles?
Money is not always the primary motivator.
Redick explained his primary motivation was the pressure of expectation and the desire to compete for an NBA title, something he did for a few years as a bench player for the Magic. Now the veteran guard will be competing for more playing time on one of the most exciting teams in the league. He gave his reasoning to Eric Patten of Clippers.com:
Going back to the week or so we were getting this deal done during free agency, I mentioned to [Clippers head coach] Doc [Rivers] that I wanted to be in this situation because there was going to be pressure, because there was going to be expectations. I feel like when I look back at my career I’ve always done better and I’ve always been happier when there’s more expectation and more pressure.
It is easy to say that winning is the reason he moved. Money also is a powerful motivator, especially for a player how has made his career as more of a role player to this point.
This was an actual decision. A source close to Redick told Crossover Chronicles at the time that the Timberwolves had offered Redick slightly more money and Redick was prepared to sign with the Timberwolves. The Clippers swooped in at the last moment and worked a three-team deal to snag the sharpshooter.
Redick will be a key piece as the Clippers try to get intot he championship picture this year. He should get the competition he wanted.