The Orlando Magic have traded J.J. Redick to the Milwaukee Bucks in a six-player trade just before the NBA's trade deadline, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first reported.
Facing the deadline and the potential of losing the sharpshooter for nothing as an unrestricted free agent, the Magic were extremely active at the deadline trying to cash in on this asset. Redick was having a career season this year averaging a career-high 15.1 points per game, a career-high 5.0 assists per game and shooting a career-high 45.0 percent from the floor. Redick has improved as a defender and as a passer and playmaker for the Magic the last few season and was an integral part of the team.
"J.J. (Redick) was a great contributor to the Orlando Magic during his time with our organization, both on the court and in the community," Rob Hennigan said in a statement. "We wish him, Gustavo (Ayón), Ish (Smith) and Josh (McRoberts) the best of luck in the future."
Redick's professionalism and leadership were clear positives for this young Magic team in the post-Dwight Howard era and he was as frustrated as anyone with the losing but always ducked his head and did his work. It was great seeing him develop and now he gets the opportunity to play for a Playoff-caliber team in Milwaukee. We will have more retrospective on Redick's time in Orlando later on.
In this deal the Magic acquired a mixture of young talent and expiring contracts to help set the team up for the next stage of its transition. In addition to Redick, the Magic traded Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith and in return the team received Tobias Harris, Beno Udrih and Doron Lamb.
The youth is very much what the Magic were after in this deal.
"Tobias (Harris) and Doron (Lamb) are two young players who complement our current roster and have tremendous potential to grow with us," Hennigan said. "Tobias is a versatile forward that can play both forward positions, while Doron is a combo guard who helps fortify our backcourt with his shooting and ball-handling ability. Beno (Udrih) is a proven point guard who adds veteran leadership and experience to our team."
Udrih is averaging 6.7 points and 3.5 assists per game off the bench for the Bucks this season, plaing in 18.4 minutes per game. More importantly for Orlando, his five-year, $32.4 million contract expires at the end of the season. Udrih was part of two championship teams in San Antonio in 2005 and 2007. So there is that.
Udrih is more of a crafty left-handed scorer than a point guard. But now with news that Jameer Nelson strained his patella tendon, bringing in another ball handler will be a big boost to this team. It should allow E'Twaun Moore to move to shooting guard where he is more comfortable as a player.
Tobias Harris is likely the real reason this deal was done. Harris is a long, athletic forward taken with the 19th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Harris is all length and all potential at this point as he has not made much of an impact on the court. Harris has appeared in 28 games this season, averaging 4.9 points per game and 2.0 rebounds per game in 11.6 minutes per game. He certainly will get more time playing in Orlando behind Maurice Harkless in the starting lineup. That could be the boost he needs to develop.
Think of Harris as an investment in the future for sure. Harris is still on his rookie deal and the Magic will hold a team option for him entering the summer of 2015. That could make him another valuable trade chip down the road. Remember, the Magic are about collecting assets right now for future development.
That likely also explains the acquisition of Doron Lamb.
Lamb was a second round pick in last year's draft and is averaging 3.4 points per game 12.2 minutes per game in 23 appearances for Milwaukee. Lamb was a solid player at Kentucky, averaging 13.1 points per game and shooting 48.5 percent from the floor mostly coming off the bench. There is certainly potential there if the Magic have the patience to develop and cultivate it. He and DeQuan Jones certainly should push each other in practice.
Was this a good deal?
That is yet to be determined. Much like the Dwight Howard deal, Rob Hennigan is still putting the pieces together for future moves and clearing the decks fo rthe right time to strike in a big deal in free agency or in the draft. That will determine the time table for turning these pieces around.
Redick did a lot of little things for the Magic that will be extremely tough to replace. However, the Magic did the right thing in cashing him in for what they could get while still maintaining flexibility to make future moves. They were not going to resign him for the amount he was likely to get in the market. Something is better than nothing.
However, this deal certainly makes the Magic a worse team today. It will make a tough season even harder.
In another deal, Orlando traded Josh McRoberts' expiring contract to Charlotte for Hakim Warrick.
Warrick is averaging 7.0 points per game in 27 appearances and 14 starts for Charlotte after being traded from Phoenix for Matt Carroll. Warrick has had a very disappointing career after a standout four years at Syracuse. But he has been in the league for a long time. He has a team option for next year and likely will not be resigned this year. I suspect he will fill Gustavo Ayon's role as a spot backup center.
The Magic announced they intend to waive Hakim Warrick and that they also received cash consideration in the deal.
With the trade deadline passed, Orlando now turns its focus to the draft and counting the ping pong balls to figure out what is next in the rebuild.