Last Thursday, when the Dallas Mavericks acquired J.J. Redick from the Pelicans in an NBA deadline trade, the team was careful to not put a timetable on the sharp-shooting guard's plan to play due to a bruised heel.
But now Redick is ready for a timetable. And he's ready to join the team. Which means he's almost ready to debut.
"Hey look, this is a great situation,'' he said. "Basketball-wise I think it’ll be a lot of fun. I’m hoping that I can really help this team in a few ways and contribute to winning and contribute to hopefully a long playoff run.”
First, as relayed by our man Kevin Gray, came Redick on his podcast, saying he will join the Mavs on this road trip with what is apparently a plan to join the team's practice on Thursday. (The Mavs beat the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night and are at the New York Knicks on Friday, so there is an opening in the travel schedule for a full workout.
But now coach Rick Carlisle has added that the 36-year-old vet will be coming aboard full-time, joining the team in New York (near his family home) and then returning to Dallas with his new teammates.
And what does he think of Dallas' two highest-profile guys?
“They’re great players,” Redick said. “I’m very excited to play with them in a sense that they’re both the proverbial 'unicorn."
Redick is rehabbing a heel injury that has kept him out of games since March 3. The Mavericks knew all about the injury - with trainer Casey Smith deeply involved in the pre-trade research and ultimately in the decision - and said last they did not have a timetable for Redick’s return.
Redick is not yet nailing down a date at which he will return to game action. His rehab is ongoing and his COVID testing is still in process as well.
But soon? Redick figures to be what Carlisle sees him to be, "one of the great shooters in the history of our game.''
Oh, and what his former coach in New Orleans sees, too.
“He’s experienced, smart, tough and can shoot the ball,” Stan Van Gundy said. “Who wouldn’t want that, making a playoff run? ... “He’s going to be in the right place. And he’s a smart, tough guy. And he’s been in a lot of big games, so nothing’s going to bother him. He’ll help them a great deal.”
And that help, for Luka Doncic and company, is coming soon.