Friday, February 22, 2013

Milwaukee Bucks Acquire JJ Redick

JJ Redick was among the most coveted players at the trade deadline this year, and for the second straight season, the Bucks up another big pickup at the trade deadline.
So what do you think of the Bucks picking up the sharpshooter in Redick?  Here are some thoughts and feelings from around the web:

Adam Kennedy of HoopsWorld is all in favor of the trade from the Bucks side: “Redick has been having a career-year in Orlando and he makes the Bucks a much better team as they look to bolster their roster for a playoff push.”

ESPN’s Chris Broussard thinks the Bucks are the big winner of the deadline: “JJ Redick is a shooter who should play well off of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis.” 

ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton gave the Bucks a C+ for their move at the deadline, writing the real upgrade comes when “Redick takes Ellis' minutes, giving Milwaukee a more efficient option at shooting guard.

Redick is absolutely having a career year, shooting 45% from the field and averaging 15.1 PPG.  One attribute you know you get with Redick is premiere shooting; he’s a career 40% shooter from behind the arc and is shooting 89% from the free throw line this year.  He fits the Bucks mold of able shooters to fit in with Dunleavy, Ilyasova and scorers in Jennings and Ellis.  This gives the Bucks a capable jump shooting team, to say the least. 

What does this trade resolve?  Well, the Bucks are currently 25th in the NBA in FG%.  Redick helps there.  They’re 20th in 3P%.  Redick helps there.  And he seemingly fits well into the Bucks system of offense as he’ll snag minutes between Jennings and Ellis who are currently averaging 37.5 MPG.

The Redick scouting report:

-Redick is a bit different than the Kyle Korver catch-and-shoot type as he uses more shot fakes and is a more capable defender.

-Much like Ellis and Jennings, he’s a bit undersized for his position at just 6’4, but a very Coach K solid player with good overall skills.

-There’s nothing too dazzling about his game—he’s fundamental and a premiere shooter type with a high basketball IQ and can handle better than you may think.

-He doesn’t turn the ball over much and can play the point guard spot; he’ll presumably slide into the PG position with Ellis on the court or SG with Jennings in, depending on the scenario.

-While he can shoot well, he is not great at creating his own shot off the dribble.

-Redick gets to the charity line at a decent clip.

Moreover, he’s coming off what is likely the best month of his career in January where he averaged 17.5 PPG shooting 45% from the field.  Not too shabby. 

The worry with Redick is that the Bucks have further crowded their backcourt.  Who will lose playing time in this?  You’d have to figure Monta Ellis.  In fact, Redick may be the antithesis of Ellis: Ellis, who can be described as hot and cold, a poor defender and an irrational shooter, is different than Redick who plays fundamental and controlled basketball, takes smart shots and plays to his game.

The trade is definitely geared toward the short term since Redick’s contract expires at season’s end and he’ll be an unrestricted free agent.  Redick’s may be in the market for a 4-year, $40MM contract come the offseason, which would be a steep price for the Bucks to pay for a player inching towards 30 and having a career year.  But for the Bucks, the reward exceeded the risk: they believe Redick can be the remote difference and make them a playoff team come late April.

So what did they give up?

Doron Lamb has bounced between the D-League and Bucks for the last few months while Tobias Harris has had to show mighty patience to get into the starting lineup.  Beno Udrih, a solid backup point guard to Jennings, will be missed mainly for his spelling Jennings at PG on occasion.  Udrih’s contract is set to expire at season’s end, too.

Harris is my only real concern here—Jim Boylan was recently on Dennis Krause’s Sports Program praising Harris’ work ethic, character and potential.  We never really got to see the no. 19 pick of the 2011 draft bloom.  We saw flashes of what he can do, but with the long term signing of Ilyasova, emergence of Larry Sanders and consistency between Mbah a Moute and Dunleavy, Harris could not crack consistent playing time.  For that reason, the trade made plenty of sense on both sides: the Magic, seeking high first round draft picks ended up settling for two draft picks of the last two years.  It wasn’t a bad decision either considering the rawness of both players and fact that the 2013 draft looks like a rather weak one at this point. 

Are you excited about the addition of Redick to the Bucks?  Will he be a rental player or can the Bucks re-sign him, especially considering the fact that Ellis may opt for free agency at season’s end?

Until next time, Beers, Brats, and Championships.

-Sean Mahon (@SMahon2Go)

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