JJ Redick’s Clippers contract, explained: Donald Sterling’s racism almost prevented LA’s deal with sharpshooter

JJ Redick and Doc Rivers have a somewhat contentious relationship. Redick played for four seasons under Rivers with the Clippers, initially starting on good terms but ending things on a sour note. 

Redick was originally one of Rivers’ most aggressive acquisitions. By the end, the team had no interest in bringing him back.

Here’s how the two ended up together and where things stand today. 

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JJ Redick’s Clippers contract, explained

Doc Rivers’ recruitment of JJ Redick

Redick came into the NBA after a storied Duke career. He was taken by the Magic with the 11th pick of the 2006 NBA Draft and was initially thought of as somewhat of a bust before getting more consistent in his fourth season. From there, he became a solid bench player for the Magic and Bucks, earning fringe Sixth Man of the Year buzz. 

Redick was a free agent after his seventh season and in the prime of his career. Rivers had just been traded from the Celtics to the Clippers to serve as both their coach and general manager.

Rivers targeted Redick as his top free agent choice as soon as he took over that job. Redick was going to sign with the Timberwolves, but Rivers convinced him to join Chris Paul and Blake Griffin instead. The deal was almost done until Clippers owner Donald Sterling stepped in.

Donald Sterling almost blew up the Redick deal because of his race

Sterling tried to call off Redick’s contract after Rivers and Redick’s agent, Arn Tellem, had already agreed to the terms. Rivers recalled the story to TNT’s Ernie Johnson

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“I get a call from [Clippers executive] Andy Roeser. He says, ‘Hey, the deal’s off.’ I say, ‘What do you mean the deal’s off?’’ ‘Donald doesn’t like white players.’”

Rivers was so furious at Sterling that he threatened to quit on the spot. A few hours later, Sterling approved the deal and Redick was in Los Angeles

JJ Redick Clippers contract details

Redick was technically traded to the Clippers as part of a three-team sign-and-trade. The Clippers sent out Eric Bledsoe, Caron Butler and a second-round pick, which became Marcus Paige, in exchange for Redick, who signed a four-year, $27 million deal.

The Clippers also received Jared Dudley in the trade, who became a useful rotation player for them. The Bucks, who owned Redick’s Bird Rights, received two second-round picks for helping to facilitate the signing. 

Redick started 265 of his 266 career games with the Clippers, averaging 15.8 points per game and hitting 44.0 percent of his 3s. The Clippers won a ton of games with him, but they never met their championship aspirations.

JJ Redick’s falling out with Doc Rivers

Redick went on to have the best years of his career under Rivers, but as he declined, Rivers played him less. This led to friction, according to Rivers. 

“JJ’s had a problem with me for a while, and that’s fine, players do,” Rivers told ESPN’s Stephen A Smith. “One thing when you coach, Stephen A., you can be called a player’s coach or whatever you want to be called.

“But if you make decisions that a player doesn’t agree with — in JJ’s case, we didn’t sign him back. With the Clippers, I stopped playing him as much because he wasn’t very effective in the playoffs.”

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Redick has since gone on to bash Rivers numerous times in media appearances, including ESPN’s First Take, for resorting so frequently to excuses after his teams’ poor playoff performances. 


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