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Grading The Deal: Bucks Win Redick Derby

To clarify the deal in case anyone got confused in the scramble, the Milwaukee Bucks traded Tobias Harris, Doron Lamb and Beno Udrih to the Orlando Magic for JJ Redick, Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith.

The Milwaukee Bucks Perspective

In essence, the Bucks traded two young players for a rental and a tactical advantage in re-signing J.J. Redick.

Discussing this trade then centers on three components: how much Redick helps the Bucks for the remainder of the season, if/how much acquiring Redick helps them retain him this summer, and how much you like the pieces Milwaukee traded to get him.

I see Redick as a very nice piece for the Bucks to have at a time where he can absolutely provide some use. It feels like no one wants the last few playoff spots in the East and the trade absolutely makes the Bucks better in the short term. Redick allows the Bucks to stretch the floor better and actually provides good effort (and some skill) on defense. He solidifies them as a postseason team even though it feels incredibly unlikely that the move propels them any deeper than a first round exit given the strength at the top of the conference.

Over that time, Milwaukee needs to decide what they would be willing to pay Redick to bring him back and how that fits into their overall strategy. With Brandon Jennings sticking on the team after the deadline, the Bucks have made it clear that he will be their point guard of the future since they can use Restricted Free Agency to match any offer he gets. As such, they likely have to choose between Redick, Monta Ellis, or neither this summer while the players choose between Milwaukee and everywhere else.

I have no personal insight into what Redick wants most in his next deal because he likely will have to choose between money and team success since the best teams could not offer him the maximum amount of dollars either total or per season. It is entirely possible that Milwaukee provides a middle ground which they could have been even without acquiring him. As such, it feels more like an evaluation period than a true asset long-term since a sign-and-trade appears so unlikely given the circumstances.

The players the Bucks gave up in order to get Redick have their strong suits, but both feel like rotation players at best under their current deals. While both could end up being more than that eventually (particularly Harris, though I do not feel that rising above a low-end rotation player seems likely for either), that sort of move would likely come late enough that they either would not be under their current contracts or just ready to get a meaningful raise in free agency. Since their value to Milwaukee was more prospective and vague than Redick’s, I totally see the deal from their perspective. Plus, I like both Ish Smith and Gustavo Ayon for them especially since both are signed very inexpensively for next season and they play positions where having cheap players like that makes even more sense.

Grade for Milwaukee: B 

The Orlando Magic Perspective

The Magic ran into a problem when they made the Dwight Howard trade: they had two different perimeter players in Arron Afflalo and JJ Redick who should spend a vast majority of their time guarding opposing Shooting Guards while being valued support players but not lead scorers on offense. That logjam coupled with Redick’s pending free agency made making a move the smart decision considering Redick's rumored desired salary.

Keeping all that in mind, Orlando made a fine deal but not one with much meaningful upside. Beno Udrih provides some value this season but will not be there long-term while Tobias Harris and Doron Lamb have two more full seasons under their rookie deals. Both are fine players who could also have some value on the trade market because they are so cheap for multiple years. Interestingly, both Harris and Lamb are signed to cheap contracts until 2015, giving Orlando plenty of time to make decisions and zero reason to move quickly if they do not want to. At the worst, the Magic get a chance to evaluate the two of them with relatively little pressure as they try to win the derby for whatever player they want at the top of the lottery (Sink for Shabazz? Not Win for Nerlens? Crash for Cody? Lose for Len? Ben or Bust?). Orlando has so few players that are a pivotal part of their long-term future that they can afford to take some fliers even though it seems possible they could have gotten some with higher upside.

Grade for Orlando: C+

 

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