Who the Orlando Magic could target for a trade in the Southwest Division

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J.J. Redick, New Orleans Pelicans
J.J. Redick has become the kind of veteran every team wants, no matter what stage of development they are in. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Pelicans: JJ Redick

The Orlando Magic need better perimeter offense and shooting and there are not many players who are more dependable shooting from beyond the arc than J.J. Redick.

The 36-year-old spent seven years with Orlando after being drafted in 2006 and was part of the team that made the 2009 NBA Finals before leaving in a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013, the first year of the team’s rebuild.

Redick has built his career on stellar shooting and showed he can still be an excellent role player last season despite his age, averaging 15.3 points per game and shooting 45.3-percent both from the field and from three.

Orlando has seriously lacked good 3-point shooting and Redick returning would help address that. He is very much a one-way player and offers little help on defense but would inject some life into an offense that is lacking.

Redick is clearly approaching the end of his career so this move could be seen as more of a quick fix than a long-term solution. But a lack of shooting is holding this team back from progressing and the front office has to come up with an answer sooner rather than later.

But Redick’s real value, and why the New Orleans Pelicans would need a big haul to let him go, is his veteran leadership. For a young Pelicans team especially, the ability for their players to watch him work and for him to provide some guidance and understanding of what it takes to win in the league is vital.

New Orleans Pelicans
New Orleans Pelicans /

New Orleans Pelicans

Redick has embraced this role too. One of the reasons he chose to sign with New Orleans, risking his personal playoff streak in the process (the 2020 season was the first time in his career he did not play in the postseason), was to mentor a young up-and-coming team like New Orleans.

With the report that New Orleans is considering hiring Stan Van Gundy, his former coach in Orlando, probably makes any chance of the team trading him even smaller.

His contribution to New Orleans last season means Orlando would have to give up something big in return. Aaron Gordon has been an important player for the Magic since he was drafted but stalled last season with his points average dipping to 14.4 and his 3-point percentage to just 30.8 percent.

He remains a good player on both offense and defense and could help the Pelicans improve when it comes to the latter, given that they ranked just 21st for defensive rating by giving up 111.8 points per 100 possessions.

New Orleans also gave up the fifth-highest number of second-chance points per game and the second-highest number of opposition points off turnovers.

Gordon is a smart defensive player but the Magic front office must start working on the team’s offense. He might also be a good pair with Zion Williamson as someone who keeps the team small and nimble at all times.

If Orlando were to bring back the veteran J.J. Redick then they should try for a younger talent too and Josh Hart is another perimeter player that could address the team’s weaknesses.