With the NBA trade deadline fast approaching, franchises are increasingly being separated into two distinct groups. The first group is comprised entirely of championship contenders, would-be championship contenders, and teams that think they fall into one of those two categories even though really don’t. The other group is awful squads who know they're awful, and who are willing to deal a decent piece for the sake of building a better tomorrow.
The New York Knicks are 32-18 and viewed by many as the only group that can legitimately threaten LeBron James’ Miami Heat in the playoffs. Conversely, the Orlando Magic are 15-37 and realize that they are in for a long, long rebuilding period. It makes sense for the two to work out a transaction of some sort, presuming there is a deal to be made.
Orlando is currently facing something of a difficult decision: do they trade J.J. Redick for cap space/picks/a young star, or do they try to retain him this summer and run the risk of him leaving town? The former Duke standout is seen as a solid (albeit not great) player, and one that could help the team. If he is signed to a reasonable contract, that is.
Given all of the rumors that have been floating around over the past few weeks, though, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Magic don’t think they can retain Redick with a reasonable contract.
Which explains why you are hearing more and more stuff like this:
The Magic and Knicks have discussed a J.J. Redick for Iman Shumpert trade. Other players (and maybe a third team) would have to be involved.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 19, 2013
Nothing imminent, but it's something to keep an eye on over next few days. Redick helps NY win now, Shumpert gives ORL another young piece.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 19, 2013
Like Reddick, Shumpert is viewed as someone the Knicks would love to retain – for as long as it makes sense. Currently New York boasts the league’s oldest team and is playing for the now. As much as they want to keep their talented two-guard for the future, they want a title this year.
Will this deal actually happen? It’s tough to say. The fact that a third team is necessary makes it unlikely. If both squads can somehow attach themselves to the inevitable Josh Smith trade, though, it definitely could go down.