J.J. Redick reveals how close he was to joining the Pacers

J.J. Redick, Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers

NBA sharpshooter J.J. Redick shared on his own podcast that he was “very close” to joining the Pacers in free agency this month.

“I almost signed with Indy,” Redick said on a podcast published on July 25th (25:50 mark). “I was an hour away, two hours away. I was very close. I had a 5:00 pm deadline. Basically, it was like 12:30, 1:00 in the afternoon when Philly changed the offer.

“They ended up getting Tyreke (Evans), which is great signing. He’s a fantastic player.”

Redick, 34, ultimately re-signed with the Philadelphia 76ers on a second straight one-year deal, this one worth $12.25 million for his 13th season. Evans, who turned 29 in September, signed a one-year, $12.4 million deal with the Pacers — his fourth NBA franchise.

The Pacers needed another dynamic scorer and they needed shooting. Redick is a veteran who would have been a great addition. Doug McDermott had agreed to a three-year deal with the team before the start of free agency.

Redick, who said he had a conversation with Pacers head coach Nate McMillan, reached agreement with Philly on day two of free agency, less than 24 hours after it was announced that LeBron James was leaving Cleveland for Los Angeles. James’ agent reportedly met with 76ers officials, but it was more of a courtesy. They also rep Ben Simmons. So after James was off the market, Philadelphia worked to re-sign Redick, who averaged 17.1 points, 3.0 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game last season.

“I knew it was going to be a weird market,” Redick continued. “I knew there was only a set amount of cap space going into it and if your incumbent team doesn’t want to sign you or not giving you a contract offer that you want, then you have to go out and get a contract offer.

“And so in the back in my mind I’m thinking, ‘Well if something happens where I can’t go back to Philly and the market dries up, what do you do?’’

The 76ers went 52-30 last year, recording four more wins than the Pacers.

The ironic part in all of this was that Redick singled out Indy as a boring city just one month ago, which was about 10 ten days prior to free agency. On a terrific podcast with Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (14:35 mark), he said Indy was his least favorite NBA city to visit.

“Indianapolis for me is No. 1. There’s just nothing there.”

Redick walked that back on Wednesday.

“I do want to apologize to about 500,000 people, everybody in Indianapolis. Two pods ago … I took some shots at Indianapolis in that pod and I apologize. I feel really bad about that because it’s a nice city with a lot of just wonderful people. I mean that. With a lot of wonderful people.

“I shouldn’t have… The easy answer [to my least favorite NBA city to visit] would have been to kind of maybe talk about an overrated big city that everybody loves, like Miami. But I like Miami. I shouldn’t have said that.”

Having launched my own podcast, I had an extended conversation with Redick about the space back in 2016. It was also interesting because Colts punter Pat McAfee had recently started his own podcast and Redick became the first active NBA player to have his own podcast.

“It wasn’t really about being a pioneer [in the podcast space] or anything like that. I didn’t really care about being the first guy,” Redick told me.

“I think, for me, it was just about exploring that avenue and I’m a very curious person. So the opportunity for me to just talk to people. Each guest that I have on, there was always something that I wanted to pick their brain about. The ability to ask questions I think is an important thing and learning from other people. There’s numerous episodes where I got done with the conversation and I was like, ‘Man, I got something from that.’

“It’s taught me a lot about my views on things and it’s taught me how to speak.”

The chance to add Redick is a great what-if. He would have provided a scoring boost on the court, and provided great context and insight to media and fans.

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