Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
The Milwaukee Bucks are reportedly interested in acquiring Orlando shooting guard J.J. Redick and are investigating their ability to re-sign him to a long-term deal.
According to a tweet from ESPN NBA correspondent Marc Stein, the Milwaukee Bucks are one of a few teams who have expressed interest in acquiring sharpshooting guard J.J. Redick from the Orlando Magic. The Bucks are trying to gauge their ability to re-sign the 28 year old to a long-term deal. According to Stein, retaining Redick past this season is critical in Milwaukee's decision making:
To meet asking price for Redick -- expiring(s) and a future first-round pick -- Bucks naturally wanna know they can retain free agent-to-be— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 9, 2013
ESPN also points out that Redick has on, numerous occasions, reaffirmed his desire to remain in Orlando, bringing into question his willingness to agree to an extension elsewhere.
If the Bucks are indeed interested in getting Redick for this season and the future, their commitment to Monta Ellis (and their perception of his commitment to Milwaukee) is called into question. Redick's salary wouldn't preclude keeping Ellis on the roster for the rest of this year--it's just a bit less than Samuel Dalembert's, who would presumably be sent to Orlando in the deal. But it's questionable how much value Redick would have on the bench behind a high-minute player like Ellis. Then if Monta chooses to waive his ETO next season, the Bucks' ability to re-sign Redick (and Redick's interest in sitting on the bench another year) would take a big hit. That issue could be remedied by shipping out Ellis in a separate deal before the deadline--he's been mentioned as available by Stein and others. For what it's worth, the ESPN blurb points to rumors saying Ellis is leaning toward opting-out. One of those ever-reliable-through-the-grapevine things, but it is what it is.
That's just the logistics, however. The bigger question is whether a relatively one-dimensional guard in his late 20s is worth giving up a valuable expiring contract in Dalembert (who's value has seen a big boost lately) and possibly a future first-round pick. There's no doubt Redick would give Milwaukee exceptional floor spacing from the 2, something they're sorely lacking right now. He's never hit less than 37% of his 3s in a season and is currently sitting just below 40% from deep. He's also boosted his assist numbers to over 5 per 36 minutes this year, though the spike is high above his career assist rate and would seem primed for regression.
Without the draft pick attached, there's a lot to like in this deal. Dalembert's value to the Bucks is marginalized with Sanders playing so well, provide they're willing to use Ekpe Udoh more at center in a reserve role and maybe even a little more Joel Przybilla in a pinch (fingers crossed). It would give the Bucks better depth at guard without mucking up their future salary-cap picture. It might even give the Bucks a decent look at how Brandon Jennings can play with a legitimate shooter next to him on the floor, albeit for just a few months.
But the value of first-round picks simply can't be overstated for a team like the Bucks. Even marginal players on rookie contracts can provide value by virtue of their cost-controlled deals with at least 4 years of team control guaranteed. Contrast that with the deal Redick will likely command this offseason coming off a 3-year, $20 million contract and the Bucks' cap situation starts to look at lot less comfortable. And while Redick is a good player by all accounts, he's not the type of player Milwaukee could build around; he's a core-augmenter, not part of the core itself, particularly at his age. If Milwaukee is prepared to part with a draft pick, there are surely higher-upside possibilities available.
Of course, those possibilities might not carry the promise of immediate help the way nabbing Redick does, which is always a concern for Herb Kohl's Milwaukee Bucks. There's always a chance Milwaukee could snag another pick elsewhere, be it before the deadline or around draft day. In isolation, however, getting Redick from the Magic looks right in line with the win-now mentality that has confounded Bucks fans for years.