Bulls Rumors: Injury Issues Make JJ Redick a Critical Trade Acquisition
Injuries continue to plague this squad, yet head coach Tom Thibodeau is doing another outstanding job in keeping the Bulls squarely in the playoff mix thanks primarily to exceptional defense.
But at some point, Chicago needs another player that can put the ball in the hoop. Redick provides just that and so much more, which is why it isn't surprising that the Bulls are reportedly interested in acquiring him, according to HOOPSWORLD.com's Alex Kennedy:
Source says the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls are among the teams pursuing Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 10, 2013
It makes me feel old to even consider Kirk Hinrich slightly aging, but in terms of pro basketball, the longtime Bulls guard is 32 and has been hampered by injuries all season long. Hinrich leads the team with 5.2 assists, but the typical scoring spark he provides hasn't been as prominent.
Part of that is due to the pleasantly surprising consistency of Nate Robinson, who is playing some of the best basketball of his career.
Still, a top-three scoring bunch of Robinson, Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng isn't going to get it done against the elite teams in the Eastern Conference. With Derrick Rose's return this season suddenly very much in question (h/t USA TODAY), the Bulls need more firepower on offense if they want to contend now—and in the long-term.
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That's not even to mention the foot injury hampering C Joakim Noah, which he is trying hard to play through, as reported by Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago.
This is where Redick would be extremely useful. He is having a career year for a lackluster Orlando team, averaging 15.5 points per game and shooting better than 45 percent from the floor just above 40 from long distance.
Not to mention, Redick has shown a playmaking ability that he hadn't previously, as evidenced by his 4.5 assists per contest. A dead-eye shooter with a high basketball IQ and great awareness, he would be a perfect fit into Thibodeau's system.
Now, no one has ever said Redick's defense was his strong suit, but it doesn't seem to matter who Thibodeau throws back there—it somehow works.
Redick is going to be a free agent this summer, and bringing him into a winning situation and one of the most stable organizations in the league would be a huge selling point to bring him back long-term.
What should the Bulls do at the trade deadline?
However, the Magic do have a massive trade exception of $17.8 million thanks to the Dwight Howard blockbuster from this past summer. It would allow them to take on either of those contracts and have more offseason flexibility rather than letting Redick go for nothing.
It might even take draft picks to make the trade possible between these two sides, but the Bulls need to make it happen.
Otherwise, this team will be counting on Rose alone to shoulder the load offensively—if he even returns—and the 27th-ranked scoring offense in the NBA will eventually see a disappointing, early playoff exit.
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