Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images
The one big move that most fans and analysts expected the Magic to make before Thursday’s trade deadline came down to the wire, but general manager Rob Hennigan sent J.J. Redick to the Milwaukee Bucks, along with Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith, in return for Beno Udrih, Doron Lamb, and Tobias Harris. He also traded Josh McRoberts to the Bobcats in a separate deal for Hakim Warrick, who will likely be waived.
Redick was one of the longest-tenured members of the Magic and one of just three players (along with Hedo Turkoglu and Jameer Nelson) remaining from the 2008-09 team that went to the Finals. He was the Magic’s best player this season, but his upcoming free agency and the dollars he will undoubtedly command on the open market made this move something of an inevitability. And the return the Magic got on him is solid to say the least.
Losing Redick will hurt the Magic in the short term. He was having a fantastic season and was Orlando’s most consistent scoring threat. But the fact of the matter is this: the Magic’s win-loss record is extremely low on the list of priorities for the organization this season. They’re going to be in the lottery regardless of whether Redick is on the roster or not. Developing the young talent under Jacque Vaughn is a much more pressing issue than the number of games they win.
The Magic were reportedly looking for three things in any prospective Redick deal: expiring contracts, young talent, and picks. Hennigan hit on two of those three bullet points.
As the deadline drew closer, teams grew hesitant to give up a first round draft pick for Redick, which is understandable in light of the new CBA’s luxury-tax penalties. It will cost anywhere between $7-$10 million to re-sign Redick in the offseason and teams aren’t inclined to give up cheap, controllable talent either as a rental or to offset the deal Redick will inevitably get.