NBA Trade Deadline: Contending Teams Who Need J.J. Redick
With the trade deadline looming Thursday afternoon, the question of whether or not the Orlando Magic will trade shooting guard J.J. Redick is likely going to be a last-minute decision.
Regardless of what uniform he's wearing by week's end, Redick has been one of the most mentioned names in trade speculation this season. In fact, several weeks ago, HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler reported that the Magic had turned down an offer from the Memphis Grizzlies that would have sent Rudy Gay to Orlando in exchange for the sharpshooter.
Not only does that decision prove the Magic are serious about trying to keep Redick, but it's a further indication that his value is higher than ever.
For a guy many people felt had a career with a ceiling at the level of Steve Kerr, Redick is certainly proving them wrong.
So, without further ado, let's look at some contenders who should try to do anything within reason to land Redick.
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While not an obvious landing spot for Redick, the Atlanta Hawks could greatly benefit from the services of the former Duke standout.
At 97.0 points per game (tied for 14th in the league) and shooting 38.1 percent from behind the three-point line (tied for fifth) on the season, Atlanta's offense hasn't been struggling. However, with the loss of Lou Williams to injury, they could use another weapon.
Currently, the Hawks are starting Devin Harris at the shooting guard position and that's a move that cries desperation.
Harris is not a good fit at the 2-guard spot. He lacks a consistent jumper and isn't the same player he once was in terms of attacking the rim.
Bringing in Redick would give the Hawks a legitimate shooting guard. Given the fact that Kyle Korver—also one of the league's best shooters—has been starting most of the year at small forward, Atlanta would have arguably the most lethal shooting combination in the league.
Al Horford and Josh Smith would also benefit from the addition of Redick, as he would give them even more room to work in the low post.
There's no doubt that Redick would improve a team that will likely need help on offense during the second half of the season.
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No Eastern Conference contender needs the services of J.J. Redick more than the Indiana Pacers do.
Despite leading the Central Division and currently holding down the No. 3 seed, the Pacers have a lot of trouble when it comes to scoring and shooting the three. They rank 28th in points per game and are 19th in the league at 34.8 percent in terms of three-point shooting.
Plugging Redick into the starting shooting guard position instead of Lance Stephenson would immediately make an impact and give the Pacers another serious scoring threat.
At 45.9 percent from the field, 40.3 percent from three-point range and 88.7 percent from the line, Redick's efficiency would be a welcome sight in Indiana.
Adding to the already obvious benefits, Redick would help bring fluidity to an offense that, at times, gets stagnant. He has also proven himself to be one of the better guards in pick-and-roll situations and would make a deadly combination with David West.
HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy recently reported that the Pacers have been trying to pursue Redick, so it's clear they're aware of their situation.
While recent speculation has pointed to him staying put in Orlando, the Pacers must continue to do whatever they can to bring him to Indianapolis.
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When Derrick Rose recently told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times that he won't return until he's completely healthy, the need for another scoring threat got even more urgent for the Chicago Bulls.
At 30-22, they've done a nice job weathering the storm without Rose. Chicago currently is second in the Central Division and positioned to be the No. 5 seed in the playoffs.
However, this is all a moot point if Rose does in fact miss the rest of the season.
Without their star point guard, the Bulls have taken a hit on the offensive end with numbers being down across the board. Their 93.1 points per game ranks 27th in the league and they rank 24th in both field-goal and three-point percentage.
At 15.3 points per game, Redick would come in and immediately give the Bulls a consistent third scoring option to go along with Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer.
Much like with the Pacers, Redick's ability to work the pick-and-roll with Boozer would be another major benefit for the Bulls. Boozer can hit the mid-range shot or go to the rim and with Redick's consistent jumper, the duo would be tough for defenses to stop.
And unlike the previously mentioned teams, the Bulls have pieces to entice the Magic with.
Whether or not those pieces would be enough for Orlando to give up Redick is beside the point. Chicago needs offense—and a good shooter—so they should exhaust all options in an effort to bring Redick in.
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When the Memphis Grizzlies traded Rudy Gay to the Toronto Raptors on January 30, it seemed as if they were waving the white flag.
Despite trading away their leading scorer, the Grizzlies still find themselves in the midst of the Western Conference playoff race. At 33-18, they're second in the Southwest Division and are holding onto the No. 4 seed for now.
In fact, since the departure of Gay the team is averaging 95.4 points per game. That's up from their season average of 93.7.
Still, the Grizzlies need help offensively.
With solid post play from the likes of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, Memphis needs a strong perimeter presence that can shoot the ball effectively.
Redick fits that bill.
Adding Redick would also take some offensive pressure off of Tony Allen. With the addition, Allen could move to a more suitable role coming off the bench. In turn, that would allow him to focus more of his energy towards his lockdown defense.
At this point, it looks doubtful that the Grizzlies have the pieces needed to obtain Redick. However, there's no denying that they would benefit from his presence.
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The Boston Celtics haven't been able to catch many breaks yet this season. With Rajon Rondo, Leandro Barbosa and Jared Sullinger all out with injuries, their roster has been decimated.
One would think that those injuries would immediately derail a season.
But this is the Celtics we're talking about, a team with perhaps the richest basketball history, located in a city known for toughness and resilience.
Those things are showing.
At 28-24, the Celtics are third in the Atlantic Division and have managed to hold on to the No. 7 seed. Whether or not they can keep winning without their star point guard is yet to be seen. However, with a smart move before Thursday's deadline, they can increase the odds.
And Redick might be just the man to help do so.
There's no doubt that the Magic shooting guard could immediately step in and fill the scoring void left by Rondo. But that's not the only thing he brings to the table.
Averaging 4.4 assists per game, Redick could help alleviate some of the distribution stress that Rondo's injury has left behind. He has become a solid ball-handler and a good passer who could fill in admirably and help run the offense efficiently.
Danny Ainge should be on the phone with the Magic daily in an effort to snag his services.