According to a tweet from Yahoo! Sports NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, league sources have indicated that free agent shooting guard J.J. Redick is looking "less and less likely" to return to the Milwaukee Bucks this summer. Redick was acquired from the Orlando Magic at the 2013 NBA trade deadline in a deal that sent 2nd-year forward Tobias Harris, among others, to the Magic. The Bucks also received guard Ish Smith and center Gustavo Ayon.
Redick's short tenure in Milwaukee was somewhat rocky, as the veteran shooter performed well below the impressive level he had established with the Magic last season. While he paired nicely with Monta Ellis for stretches to provide the Bucks with some semblance of an high-functioning NBA offense, his acquisition did nothing to change the Bucks' eventual fate of first-round sweep as the Eastern Conference's 8th playoff seed. There were even rumblings of discontentment from the locker room during the playoffs, when rumors suggested that Redick wasn't even on speaking terms with the coaching staff. That didn't stop the Bucks from reportedly preparing a 5-year, $40 million offer for Redick, but he never acknowledged receiving such an offer.
Losing Redick in free agency would surely feel like a tremendous waste to Bucks fans already pining for the good old days when Tobias Harris was glued to the bench in Milwaukee, rather than racking up points down in Orlando. This is especially true since, as was pointed out when the trade was first announced, the Bucks could have easily targeted Redick as a free agent this summer without dealing for him and his Bird Rights back in February. Despite this, the best move for both player and team might be a smooth split. Keeping Redick as anything less than a key rotational guard, or at anything more than $6-7 million annually could be a waste of resources for a team that's still a long way off from contention. While we can't entirely rule out Redick's return to the Bucks, or the possibility that he could still be a solid contributor in the future, one would hope his return would be motivated by more than submission to the sunk cost fallacy.
Despite this, don't expect the Bucks to renounce their rights to Redick unless a large signing requires freeing the $9.3 million tied up in Redick's cap hold. As long as they own his rights, Redick can still be dealt in a sign-and-trade deal to recoup some value. Any team with cap space (or the ability to convince Redick to take an exception-level deal) can simply sign him outright, but if he and a contending team over the cap have mutual interest, a sign-and-trade could be beneficial for all parties (note that there are restrictions on taxpaying teams receiving players in S&Ts).
With Ellis joining Redick in unrestricted free agency after exercising his ETO last week, the Bucks will definitely be looking for a shooting guard or two on the market this summer. While there are a few top-level names available, it feels more likely the Bucks will grab a decent veteran on a hopefully-not-too-inflated deal.