'It's very uncertain; there is no control': J.J. Redick explains why NBA free agency is a more stressful experience than people realise

J.J. Redick’s third foray into NBA free agency was a successful one — on July 1, he agreed to a one-year, $US23 million deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

However, while the money was a positive outcome for Redick, he insisted that the overall experience wasn’t a positive one.

Speaking to Business Insider, Redick admitted that free agency is often a stressful experience because players have less control over the outcome than most people imagine.

“You think, in theory, that free agency is going to be this great process where you have control and there’s some sort of level of certainty,” Redick said. “But the reality — at least my reality in my three experiences of free agency — is it’s very uncertain. There is no control.”

Redick noted that circumstances can change quickly and affect possible landing spots, pointing to the Indiana Pacers trading Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder on July 1 and the Philadelphia 76ers trading up for the No. 1 pick in the draft.

“So many things can happen that sort of affect which teams would offer you money and how much money, how many years, all those things,” Redick said. “So you’re kind of like a bystander to the whole thing and kind of have to be ready to pull the trigger whenever the opportunity presents itself.”

Redick documented his free-agency process with Uninterrupted, creating a 15-minute short film showing the behind-the-scenes of moving, negotiations, and weighing the decision with the ideal team scenario, location, and family impact. Redick said the goal of the documentary was to show that atheltes aren’t “robots” and that a lot goes into the decision.

Redick said: “So much of free agency now is [Adrian Wojnarowski’s] Twitter bombs, [ESPN’s] Kevin Pelton’s grades … but we’re not just these little robots you put in spots; we’re human beings who have to make real-life decisions. In my case, I have a wife and two kids, two young boys, and so a lot of the decisions I make as a professional are because of the personal relationships I have in my life.”

Even with Redick’s high salary for 2017-18 — a deal he called “insane” — the free agency outcome still wasn’t ideal. On his podcast (also on Uninterrupted), Redick said he was hoping for a longer deal, which would mean more long-term security. Instead, in the opening hours of free agency, he realised he wasn’t going to get the length of a deal he wanted.

In NBA free agency the perfect situation rarely exists. While it may seem that players get to have their choice of a new team, a new city, a new situation, usually those choices come at the expense of something else. For Redick, he got the money and a culture he liked in Philadelphia, but he didn’t get the years he wanted.

Watch our interview with Redick below.

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