With the All-Star game looming and trade deadline a week and a half away, a new rumor will find its way into the headlines everyday. Over the weekend, rumors have been swirling about the future of JJ Redick, the Magic’s once maligned two guard who is now dubbed an underrated hero.
Redick has said repeatedly that he wishes to sign a new deal and remain in Orlando, but as the best trade chip in the Magic’s arsenal, it’s entirely possible that we’ll see Redick move on if a suitor can return a first round draft pick and a useful expiring contract.
The Milwaukee Bucks are the latest to show interest in the former Duke standout, joining the likes of Chicago and Indiana. Orlando has been quiet in the trade market thus far, surprising some while living precisely up to the expectations of others. Since trading Dwight Howard, Orlando has been in rebuilding mode, but General Manager Rob Hennigan is hesitant to make any moves that don’t center around freeing up salary cap or bringing in a superstar.
The Magic don’t have players they can trade for a centerpiece type star, but Redick could return the opportunity to land a second first round draft pick aside from their own. Combined with a the second round pick Orlando has from Denver in the four team Howard deal last summer plus their own second round pick, Orlando has plenty of opportunity to rebuild through youth.
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If the Magic do want to cash in on Redick and move in a new direction, who has the best offer for them? Let’s take a look.
The Bucks have an interest and would like to offer Redick a long term deal in the mid level exception range. In return, they can offer their first round pick and a player like Mike Dunleavy or Samuel Dalembert whose expiring deals would undoubtedly entice the Magic. A lack of small forward options for the Bucks makes Dalembert the more likely candidate for a departure from Milwaukee, not to mention the Magic would like to clear as much as they can from their cap this summer and Dalembert’s $6.7 million deal is right in line with the money they had expiring in Redick’s deal. Dunleavy would only be worth $3.75 million.
With Glen Davis having struggled with injuries this season, it would be a good deal for the Magic to acquire Dalembert who could give them another big body on the interior. The team’s commitment to him would end in the summer and they’d have some additional funds plus a draft pick to show for it. Milwaukee gets Redick as a potential long term replacement for Monta Ellis when he ultimately exercises his player option this summer.
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The Bulls are the least likely of the three suitors to land Redick. Chicago doesn’t have much in the way of expiring contracts they can part with in the midst of a season in which they’re competing for the Eastern Conference’s four seed other than Richard Hamilton or Marco Belinelli. Hamilton would clear $5 million from the books in the summer, Belinelli $2 million.
The biggest problem, however, is that the Bulls can’t offer much in the way of draft picks. They’re first round pick this season won’t be until around the 20th pick or so and their only other trade chip is the pick they acquired from Charlotte in the Tyrus Thomas trade three seasons ago. That pick is protected for the Bobcats as long as they have a pick in the top 12 this season, a likelihood considering their current record.
While the Bulls have space for Redick in the lineup, they don’t have the pieces in place to make a trade directly, so they would need to tie in a third team somehow.
The Pacers are 27th in the league in shooting percentage, something that Redick can help cure if they were able to get him. That is problematic, however, as they run into the same trouble as the Bulls when it comes to draft picks and what they can offer Orlando.
Indiana has only their own first round pick to offer, but as they push the Knicks to try and steal the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, that pick isn’t likely to be until late in the first round. As of yet, the team has not acquired any further draft picks so they have very little to offer the Magic rebuilding project.
As for expiring contracts, the Pacers aren’t exactly deep in that department either. Outside of David West, DJ Augustin and Lance Stephenson, the Pacers don’t have anyone in their lineup the Magic would covet and there are problems with those three as well.
West isn’t an option for a trade due to the fact that he is a major piece of that team right now. Augustin and Stephenson combined don’t make what Redick does and how much interest the Magic would have in acquiring either is questionable.
The Pacers are currently shopping Danny Granger and while he may not be an option for the Magic, if a deal including him could involve a draft pick, a young player heading to Orlando, Redick to Indiana and Granger elsewhere, suddenly the Pacers could have a chance. That is a deal that could get complicated, but what better time of year to put together a complex deal than the annual summit of general managers at the All-Star game?