What J.J. Redick Brings to Milwaukee Bucks

Sean HojnackiFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2013

Feb 2, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA;  Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick (7) during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.  The Bucks won 107-98.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported Thursday afternoon that the Milwaukee Bucks had traded for J.J. Redick of the Orlando Magic.

The Bucks will send Doron Lamb, Tobias Harris and Beno Udrih to the Magic. Milwaukee also receives Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith.

Udrih has been a reserve point guard, but he could help Orlando, especially if Jameer Nelson gets injured yet again. Lamb was a second-round pick out of Kentucky in 2012, but he had bounced back and forth to the D-League this season.

Mainly, Milwaukee gets a player in Redick that can help them now. At 26-27, the Bucks are 12 games back in the East and firmly in line for the eighth playoff spot. But the Philadelphia 76ers are creeping up behind them.

Redick's scoring ability and solid fundamentals should be very helpful to the Bucks.

It ends the weeks of speculation about Redick's future. An unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, Redick's name had been linked to a laundry list of teams including the New York Knicks (per Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD), Milwaukee Bucks (per Ken Berger of CBSSports.com), Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers (h/t Kennedy).

Reddick had stated that he liked it in Orlando (per the Orlando Sentinel's Brian Schmitz), but business is business. 

With Orlando in major rebuilding mode, this was a good job on their part to get something for the blossoming sharpshooter before he could walk away as a free agent.

Magic general manager Rob Hennigan had been asking for a first-round pick, but many teams either felt that asking price was too high or they had already traded away their 2013 or 2014 first-round pick.

Redick is solid acquisition, but it also leaves the Bucks with a very crowded backcourt for the remainder of the season.

After weeks of speculation that Monta Ellis or Brandon Jennings would be shipped elsewhere, both starting guards stayed put.

Ellis is expected to decline his player option and become a free agent in the offseason (per Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe). Jennings will become a restricted free agent.

With Redick unrestricted, the Bucks will have a lot of work to do once they wrap up the season.

To this point, Redick had been enjoying the finest year of his career as a super-sub for Orlando. 

He's averaging 15.1 points and 4.4 assists in 31.5 minutes per game. That's way up from 11.6 points and 2.5 assists per game last season.

Redick also brings a lethal three-point shot.

He's made 117 threes this season, good for 11th in the NBA. Though he's only making them at a mediocre rate of 39 percent, that's still better than Jennings (37.0 percent) or Ellis (an abysmal 22.8 percent). Redick averages six three-point attempts per game. 

Redick brings his 45 percent field-goal percentage to a starting backcourt that averages right around 40 percent.

The Duke product is a shrewd player who likes to fool defenders with shot fakes to get open or draw contact. He averages 2.6 free-throw attempts per game.

Though he is undersized at 6'4" and 190 pounds, Redick is still a fairly strong defender. He plays with the fundamentals of a Blue Devil who learned under Mike Krzyzewski. He rarely comes up with steals, however.

Redick also has some stellar ball-handling skills. While he's not much for creating shots off the dribble, he can penetrate defenses well or work into space for an entry pass. He also limits his turnovers.

The one glaring weakness of Redick's game is his rebounding. He lacks the mass to box out or the instincts to snag long rebounds. Per 36 minutes this season, he is averaging 2.7 boards, which is down from last year's average of 3.1 per game.

The real challenge for interim coach Jim Boylan will be figuring out his rotation and the distribution of minutes. Ellis and Jennings are each averaging over 37 minutes per game, so it will be interesting to see where Boylan slots Redick in.

Still, some observers, including Grantland's Zach Lowe, think the mercurial Monta Ellis should be the one first in line to lose minutes.

Ellis' performance at the line in Wednesday's loss to the Brooklyn Nets would buttress that opinion. With the Bucks down by three late in the fourth quarter, Ellis was fouled on a three-pointer attempt and went to the line with a chance to tie the game.

He missed all three free throws.

Signing Redick certainly improves Milwaukee's roster, and if it costs Ellis some minutes and shots, that could very well be a good thing for the Bucks. 

According to ESPN's Player Efficiency Rating (PER), Redick is more efficient than Steve Nash, Isaiah Thomas, Damian Lillard, Ben Gordon or J.R. Smith.

This is a very good move for Milwaukee and Redick will be delighted to be heading to a contender, even if he's moving from the sun of Orlando to the beery damp of Milwaukee.

It's also puzzling that the Bucks hung on to both Ellis and Jennings.

It's possible that a deadline deal to swap Ellis fell through, which is precisely what ESPN's Chad Ford reported. Allegedly, the Atlanta Hawks pulled out of a deal of Josh Smith for Ellis at the last minute.

Either way, the Bucks add a very competent guard in Redick who can brutalize opponents from the perimeter and play solid D. While they may have a glut of scoring guards now, that's one of those good problems.