Since the start of the season, J.J. Redick has been the subject of trade rumors and it’s easy to see why.
At 28 years old, Redick is an elder statesman on a rebuilding team. Only Jameer Nelson (30) and Hedo Turkoglu (33) are older. With the Orlando Magic in the middle of a rebuilding phase, it makes sense that people are questioning whether or not Redick is a part of the franchise’s long-term plan.
Further fueling the fire is Redick’s cap-friendly contract. He’s making $6.2 million this season, one of the best value contracts in the NBA, and is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July, per ShamSports. That makes it easy for almost any team in the league to acquire Redick in a trade.
Oh, and Redick is pretty good. He’s posting a career-high 15.8 Player Efficiency Rating. He’s an elite shooter, efficient scorer, underrated playmaker, and a smart defender. In other words, he’s an excellent role player that every team in the NBA covets — especially a contender.
And Redick put those positive basketball qualities on display in the Magic’s 104-101 come-from-behind win against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday. In the game, Redick scored eight of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead three-pointer with 42.1 seconds left, and he drew a key offensive foul Jamal Crawford moments later.
Let’s take a look at both plays.
Trailing 101-99 with 54.7 seconds left, head coach Jacque Vaughn drew up a play to get Redick a three-pointer.
The play begins with Jameer Nelson and Nikola Vucevic running a 1/5 pick-and-roll. What’s interesting is that Vucevic is wide open for a split-second as he rolls to the basket while Blake Griffin hedges against Redick and recovers. However, Nelson doesn’t force the pass to Vucevic as Lamar Odom recovers himself.
Instead, Nelson passes the ball to Redick, who rubs off a screen set by Josh McRoberts. As Redick catches the ball, he executes a perfectly timed shot fake. Matt Barnes bites on the fake, which gives Redick the space he needs to get off a clean look. He sidesteps Barnes, then drills a three-pointer to give Orlando their first lead of the game.
But Redick wasn’t done making plays in crunch time.
A few possessions later, with the Magic clinging to a 102-101 lead, Nelson tried to extend the advantage to three but had his shot blocked by Odom. All of a sudden, the Clippers found themselves in a fast break situation.
Chris Paul led the fast break and passed the ball to Jamal Crawford. Redick was the first man back on defense for Orlando and ready to prevent an easy layup.
Even though Barnes was wide open in the right corner for a three-pointer, something Redick was forced to concede, Crawford drove to the basket. However, Redick had established position and drew an offensive foul on Crawford, who was out of control and lowered his right shoulder — waiting too late to make the kick-out pass to Barnes.
Not only did Redick make the go-ahead three-pointer for the Magic, but he drew a key offensive foul that helped keep Los Angeles at bay.
In short, these are the types of plays that show why Redick is such a highly coveted player around the league. It remains to be seen if he’ll continue to make them in a Magic uniform when the trade deadline hits or with another team.