2013 NBA Trade Deadline: What Will J.J. Redick Bring to the Milwaukee Bucks?

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The Milwaukee Bucks are a game under .500 and will likely assume the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, which means a likely matchup against LeBron James’ Heat. Redick will be faced with the challenge of guarding Dwyane Wade, and he’ll play big minutes as the third guard in a potent Milwaukee Bucks backcourt, featuring two high scoring guards in Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis.

Dec 14, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Milwaukee Bucks point guard Monta Ellis (11) celebrates with point guard Brandon Jennings (3) in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Still, even if Redick doesn’t get as many opportunities to flourish in pick and rolls and isolation sets run on the wing, he’ll be a valuable contributor in Milwaukee. He’ll help spread the floor and draw attention away from Jennings, Ellis and power forward Ersan Ilyasova.

Redick may even figure into the Bucks long-term plans if they can re-sign him. Ellis is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end and it seems highly likely he makes his exodus from Milwaukee.

Redick is ready to assume a large role on a contending team, be it the Bucks or another team should he test the free agency waters and seek the biggest contract he can find. His agent Art Tellum expects no less than a four-year $40 million contract for the Duke legend. Has Redick earned the right to make such a salary?

It’s tough to say. He’s seventh among shooting guards in Player Efficiency Rating, and he definitely helped the Magic in a number of ways. His ability to create offense for other players is one of the most recent developments in his game. Redick is averaging 4.4 assists per game this season, and his ability to create replaced the decrepit Hedo Turkoglu within the Magic’s offense.

Redick is not going to be an All-Star even here in the midst of his prime, but he’s certainly fulfilled most expectations that accompanied being a late lottery pick. He’s out-performed a number of players drafted higher in his 2006 draft class, which was my many accounts the worst draft class in the last ten years.

Redick can rightly be called the seventh best player in that year’s crop, after six-plus seasons from which to base our judgements on.

And that’s because Redick has continued to improve his game. He listened to Stan Van Gundy and became a better defensive player. He ironed out flaws in his shooting stroke that caused him to struggle in his first couple NBA seasons.

And perhaps biggest of all, Redick has become a leader who will bring valuable leadership qualities to a Milwaukee team that needs it.

All things considered, the Milwaukee Bucks fleeced the Magic in the deal that sent Redick packing for Beno Udrih’s expiring contract, Tobias Harris and Doron Lamb. But Rob Hennigan has the long-term picture in mind for the Magic, and Redick’s contributions, however great, were not enough to sacrifice $10 million in cap room to retain his services past this season.

Hennigan seeks most of all to keep the Magic flexible with the cap so that they can sign a premier free agent. Redick is not on that level, and to commit significant money to a role player didn’t make sense for the Magic.

It was a nice run in Orlando for Redick, but he’s looking to help take the Bucks into the playoffs, and beyond that, anything can happen.

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