The Future of J.J. Redick and Company is Up in the Air | Magic Basketball

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Jun 01

The Future of J.J. Redick and Company is Up in the Air

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Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Via Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel:

Smith told the Sentinel that he “anticipates” Vince Carter remaining with the team, wants to re-sign J.J. Redick and doesn’t expect to package little-used, but expensive players (such as Marcin Gortat and Brandon Bass) in a sign-and-trade deal for a star free agent.

As for starting small forward Matt Barnes, Smith was more non-committal, considering it was Barnes who took the unusual step Monday to formally announce he would opt out of his two-year contract and go exploring as a free agent.

Smith doesn’t plan on making major changes to the 59-win team and instead said he’ll “make some tweaks.”

There’s only one month left until the fun begins — free agency — for teams such as the New York Knicks, who will be looking to lure and sign big-name free agents like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and others. The Orlando Magic have been in that position before, most notably in 2000, when they did the song and dance routine with Tim Duncan, Grant Hill, and Tracy McGrady. The Magic know better than almost every team in the NBA … at first, free agency can be a dream but it can end up being a nightmare before it’s all said and done.

Ten years later, though, Orlando is in a position to make a tweak here and there. Not a facelift.

Barring something unforeseen and given what’s been reported, it appears that J.J. Redick will probably re-sign with the Magic. Redick loves the organization and the organization loves Redick. And since Redick stated on Monday that he wouldn’t mind maintaining his role with the Magic and winning than becoming a starter on another team, unless something crazy happens between now and July 1, it seems like a deal will be worked out sooner or later. Redick has proven to be a valuable player time and again for Orlando, especially in the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics, so it’s most likely a sure bet that general manager Otis Smith will do his due diligence and try to keep Redick.

On the other side of the spectrum, Matt Barnes seems like the player most likely to leave the Magic and go elsewhere but it’s hard to predict where he’ll end up. Barnes opted out and is clearly looking for a raise, whether it’s with Orlando or somewhere else, but he could be replaced if push came to shove. Yes, Barnes brings the cliche “intangibles” that everyone enjoys and praises about a player, like his toughness and what not, and there’s no denying that he can always be counted on to give a consistent effort on the floor night in and night out, but he’s replaceable. That doesn’t mean Barnes shouldn’t be welcomed back with open arms if he returned to the Magic, though.

As for Brandon Bass, Vince Carter, and Marcin Gortat, who knows what will happen with them. The respective futures of each of them will probably hinge on whether or not Orlando sticks with their current 4-out/1-in philosophy.

8 comments
Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Mikeyho

Well, playing Gortat and Howard depends on what's happening on the floor. I agree, in part, that Gortat isn't utilized enough but it's hard for him to see more minutes on the Magic. And it comes down to this ... Gortat needs to force Van Gundy's hand and play better.

Mikeyho
Mikeyho

@Eddy Rivera

But I'm pretty sure playing Gortat and Howard was never the goal. It was foul trouble and just not giving up so much when our star went off the floor. I guess the point is that, for the price we are paying, he isn't used enough. I think I understand now what you were saying.

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Mikeyho

Gortat is barely used because the Magic struggle to score when he plays alongside Howard. And that's one of the few chances that Gortat has at increasing his minutes -- by playing next to Howard. Unfortunately for the Magic, the pairing doesn't work very well sometimes.

Mikeyho
Mikeyho

So it's great the organization is going to keep in the luxury tax. Resigning J.J. and everyone's increasing salary means we'll be pretty high up there next year.

Having Lewis, Anderson, and Bass makes my head hurt however... but I'm a lucky fan that's waiting for good decisions optimistically instead of expecting the worst. We are lucky fans.

Mikeyho
Mikeyho

Barnes leaving makes sense ever since he stated opting out much earlier in the season. I feel he's a bench option for the Magic with his apparent lack of shooting skills.

When teams start shopping players like Phoenix with Amare, it seems it hurts their trade position. This makes me wonder if "doesn't expect" means that he'll continue to let teams come to him first and that in all reality, Bass and Gortat (not specifically) are expendable if another team "really" wants them.

I don't understand how Gortat is barely used? He doesn't play a lot but seems invaluable as Howard's more than capable backup.

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@BandrewG

I doubt it, but I think he'll give it some thought -- it should be noted that Otis Smith believes the Magic can win with Lewis at the 4. What would happen in Van Gundy went a different direction? Not sure. There's too many variables involved for me to answer that question with any specificity.

@mark l

There's no such thing as a "true" power forward ...

mark l
mark l

the first thing they will have to do is get a true power forward

BandrewG
BandrewG

Do you think Stan is really thinking about moving away from the 4-out philosophy? I haven't really been following the exit interviews and such, but I never thought Stan was a knee-jerk reaction kinda coach. I expect him to keep the same philosophy. What do you suppose happens if they do go a different direction?