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The Five NBA Players J.J. Redick Would Take to Survive on a Deserted Island

Plus: thoughts on DeMarcus Cousins signing with the Warriors and more in this mailbag episode of ‘The J.J. Redick Podcast’

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We have entered the down period of the NBA offseason, post–free agency and summer league and pre-preseason, when players are busy taking vacations, spending time with their families, and mocking each other on podcasts and social media. So on this week’s episode of The J.J. Redick Podcast, Redick responded to mailbag questions, like who he would take with him to survive on a deserted island, and which NBA teams had the best offseasons.

Listen to the full podcast here. This transcript has been edited and condensed.


Tommy Alter: Great question from Paraguay. “Hi J.J., my name is Matias. I’m a Sixers fan from Paraguay, and I’ve always been a fan of your game. Name the five NBA players you would take with you to survive on an island.”

J.J. Redick: [Laughs] Alright, I’ll gravitate towards people I know, and teammates or former teammates. Chris Paul and LeBron—first two guys that come to mind. Smart, resourceful.

Alter: They don’t cancel each other out? Two alphas?

Redick: No, no, no. I think LeBron would be the alpha and then Chris would be the no. 2, the lieutenant. I would say we need some comedic relief, so I would bring Joel [Embiid]. I do worry that his personality may rub some people the wrong way, specifically Chris and LeBron.

Alter: Friction isn’t a bad thing, though.

Redick: No, I need laughs. Uh, two more. Let’s think. I would say Mike Dunleavy and Spencer Hawes. ... I need Mike there because Mike’s the guy who, if Chris is doing something that is just annoying, Mike’s the guy that’s like “Hey man, we need to talk about Chris. Like, what the fuck’s going on?”

Alter: You need the other person who’s just mentally on the same page as you.

Redick: Right, yeah. And then Spencer is great because Spencer is the ultimate chameleon. He just fits in with anybody. He has such an even personality. The last two summers when I’ve done my guys’ trip, he’s been the first invite. It’s just great, like [with] any group of people, he’s great. We went to Tokyo together this past year. We did Nashville. He’s the best.

Looking back at my selections, I’m actually a little concerned about the dynamic. I think there’s a couple people that might kill themselves or kill each other. ... But, yeah it would be interesting.

Alter: We can change that list if we need to later on.

Redick: There’s more to that question. There’s more to that question.

Alter: Marshall from Cincinnati: “Besides the Sixers, who else do you think had the strongest offseason this summer?”

Redick: Besides the Sixers, Golden State for sure, [and] L.A.

Alter: Was the Boogie thing surprising?

Redick: No, and I’ll tell you why. Because I had a similar mind-set to DeMarcus going into free agency—I knew it was going to be a weird market. I knew there was only a set amount of cap space going into it. And if your [incumbent] team doesn’t want to re-sign you or are 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 of 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? You go get the taxpayer midlevel from the Warriors, the Celtics, whomever.

Alter: The team that gives you the best chance to win.

Redick: A team that gives you the best chance to win. And, by all accounts that I’ve read, that market sort of dried up for DeMarcus. And he’s coming off an injury, so there’s no rush for him to get back. To me, it’s kind of a perfect situation.

Alter: It’s not like he turned down $20 million a year to go do this. As a common-sense thing, if you get the same amount of money from a team where you are likely to win a championship, or [are] at least the favorites to win a championship … [versus a team] that you have no connection to—

Redick: And it also fills a need. Here’s the thing—he came out and said “This was the only contract offer I got,” right?

Alter: He said that publicly. And no one has really disputed that.

Redick: So if the best contract you get is from the Warriors, you would take that.

Alter: Yeah, so even teams like the Lakers who were rumored to be going after him, they even said “We didn’t offer him anything.” So it’s a weird thing to blame him.

Redick: I wonder sometimes, when a signing like that happens—not necessarily the [Kevin] Durant signing because he went and got a max, or close to it—but a signing like DeMarcus, do other teams think to themselves, “Oh, we could’ve had him had we actually given him an offer”? Because I think sometimes teams, they psych themselves out. They price themselves out of the market. And it happened with me a little bit. I mean I had offers, but there were some teams who would be like, “Yeah, we’re interested, but he’s just going to go back to Philly, right? He’s not leaving Philly, right? Why would he leave Philly?” And so then if I had gone somewhere else, [they’d say] “Oh, we could’ve got him!”