With the addition of guys like Corey Maggette and Chris Douglas-Roberts and the re-signing of John Salmons, Bucks GM John Hammond has made it pretty clear that if or when Michael Redd does return healthy, he doesn't have a place in the Bucks rotation. But, with that being said, his expiring contract, which is worth 18.3 million dollars can still be an asset. The Milwaukee front office can approach this one of two ways. They could either look to trade that contract to a team that is looking to dump salary, or let the contract expire. Don't expect Hammonds to be able to move Redd's contract just yet, because taking over a lame player before the season even starts in order to dump contracts is a horrible message for a GM to send to their fans, but as the season progresses, Redd's contract will look better and better to a team that is looking to start over.
So, me being as impatient as I am, I wanted to take a look ahead towards February 2011 when the trade deadline will be approaching. I will throw some possible scenarios out, as teams will look to shed contracts.
I categorized these scenarios into three groups, Most Likely, Likely, and Unlikely for aesthetic pleasure.
Golden State - The Warriors seem to be the most likely movers at next year's deadline. They have Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins both locked down to heavy, long-term deals, and both of them have been mentioned in numerous trade rumors in the past year. New ownership may be a hint that the team will start fresh, and the emergence of Stephen Curry as a legitimate NBA point guard and fan favorite will probably be the end of Ellis in Golden State. For those that don't know Ellis is a high-energy, scoring guard who can score with the best of them. Biedrins is a solid big man who would definitely be a great addition to Milwaukee's front line. Golden State has already made it clear they are in the business of cutting salaries by basically giving Corey Maggette to the Bucks earlier this offseason for good looking contracts. It is quite possible that they may be looking to make a few more giveaways.
The problem with bringing Monta Ellis in is that his offensive game dominates the ball, and wouldn't work well with Jennings, who also thrives when given the ball. Ellis has played well at 2-guard, but bringing him in with Jennings would create matchup problems on the defensive end. I don't see this scenario as likely unless Skiles and Hammond are completely comfortable pairing Jennings and Ellis. Bringing in Biedrins makes a lot more sense.
Philadelphia - The 76ers finished 27-55 last season and have Elton Brand's contract. Brand is 31, is owed around 50 million over the next three seasons, and has been riddled by injuries over the last several seasons. The 76ers also have Andre Iguodola signed to a long term contract, and the addition of Evan turner to the backcourt may be a sign that Iguodola's time in Philly is running out.
If these guys have another poor year, It is very likely that they will do something to shed Brand's contract. Perhaps they will make it worthwhile for Milwaukee by throwing in a Louis Williams or a Jrue Holiday, or maybe even Iguodola if the Bucks can put together a package.
Indiana - I would really hate to be a Pacers fan at this point. With names like Patrick Patterson, Xavier Henry and Eric Bledsoe still on the board in this year's draft when they selected, the Pacers picked Paul George from Fresno State, who happens to play the same position as Danny Granger, their team's best player. The Pacers factor into this equation because they have what a lot of NBA teams want. Granger is one of the NBA's elite scorers and can fill it up from anywhere on the floor. The problem with this scenario is that the Pacers only have 18 million dollars in guaranteed contracts for next season, meaning it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense to give up on Granger with that much cap space. But wait a minute, there were whispers at last year's trade deadline that Granger was on the move, and with Redd's contract and a couple of firsts, the Pacers could legitimately start from scratch. This one is a longshot, but one can wish.
Other likely salary dumpers are Charlotte and Detroit. Neither really improved this offseason, and both seem to be stuck, and may become sellers. The problem with these two teams is that neither have guys that would give Milwaukee a substantial upgrade.
There are several other teams that could easily join this picture if they struggle out the gates, or even as the season progresses. Only time will tell.