Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond pulled an outright heist by dealing Doron Lamb, Tobias Harris and Beno Udrih to the Orlando Magic for a package that includes shooting guard J.J. Redick on Thursday.
Clinging to the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture and in the midst of losing eight of 10 games, Milwaukee needed to make something happen prior to the 3 p.m. EST trade deadline.
And the Bucks' brass did just that. ESPN insider Chad Ford confirmed the move on Twitter:
Can confirm JJ Redick, Gustavo Ayon & Ish Smith to Bucks for Beno Udrih, Tobias Harris & Doron Lamb.— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) February 21, 2013
This can be described as a heist because the Bucks were getting modest production out of Udrih and not much of anything out of Harris or Lamb.
But Redick provides a valuable role player in Milwaukee's bid for the playoffs and is in the middle of a career year, averaging 15.1 points and 4.4 assists. Although the Bucks already have a somewhat crowded backcourt with starters Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, Redick will prove to be a great influence in whatever role he's in.
Jennings and Ellis lead the Bucks in scoring with 19.1 and 18.3 points respectively. However, neither of them is very efficient, as Jennings' shooting percentage hovers just above 40 percent while Ellis is ever so slightly under that plateau.
Not only will Redick be able to help the Bucks space the floor more, but he also is a stellar ball-handler himself. He has shown a distributing ability in the 2012-13 campaign that hasn't really been on display in years past.
Can the Bucks be a factor in the playoffs with the addition J.J. Redick?
For some time, Redick was thought to be just a knockdown shooter, but he has proven to have a much better all-around skill set than expected.
That should help ball movement on offense, which can be stagnated when Jennings or Ellis get into isolation situations. Each player's assist numbers are solid—6.2 for Jennings and 5.5 for Ellis.
However, having a player who is so good on and off the ball like Redick should only help smooth the flow of the Bucks' half-court sets.
Should the Bucks choose to deploy a smaller lineup with all three of those stellar guards, combined with the presence of the NBA's leading shot-blocker Larry Sanders in the paint, it should give the rotation a lot of flexibility.
To really space things out, the stretch 4 dimension that Ersan Ilyasova brings to the table gives head coach Jim Boylan even more of a dynamic look.
The Bucks got off to a promising start under the straight talking, no nonsense Boylan, but are now struggling. It's hard to adjust to an interim coach on the fly, especially with the playoffs on the line.
But the adjustment to Redick will be a welcome one, because it will make the Bucks significantly better.
Boylan preaches commitment on defense (h/t NJ.com), and Redick is the prototypical blue-collar player that will stick to his assignment and rarely be out of position.
Redick is a free agent this coming summer, and the Bucks likely wouldn't have made the deal had they not believed they could re-sign him. The future of Boylan's job will depend on how well he can integrate Redick into the lineup.
Should it be a success, there's a much better chance Redick will sign in Milwaukee this summer—and that Boylan will be retained as the head coach.
The stakes are high for the Bucks' future in taking a high-risk move on a player whose contract is expiring, but Hammond appears to have a method to his madness, because opponents may very well fear the deer if the Bucks enter the postseason at full strength and with Redick in the fold.