Michael Redd is back home in Ohio recovering from a torn acl and mcl in his left knee which caused him to miss nearly the entire 2009-10 season. It was the second time he suffered the injury to his left knee missing most of the 2008-09 season due to the same injury.
If Redd can rehabilitate his injury sufficiently to play during the 2010-11 NBA season Bucks general manager John Hammond will have three options as Redd is entering the final year of his contract at a number of $18 million guaranteed.
The first and most unlikely option is the Bucks could buy Redd out. However, Redd would be unlikely to take much if anything less than the $18 million he is guaranteed from the Bucks if he's healthy. And, I just can't imagine Bucks owner Senator Herb Kohl taking a financial hit of that size. This scenario would allow the Bucks to save 18 million dollars in salary cap space and possibly become a peripheral player in free agency this summer.
Perhaps targeting players such as Dirk Nowitzki or Chris Bosh along with Ray Allen but this scenario is the long shots of long shots. Still one can't help but contemplating a lineup consisting of Brandon Jennings, Allen, First Round Pick No. 15, Nowitzki or Bosh, and Andrew Bogut which would certainly make the Bucks a serious contender in the East.
The second option for Hammond with regards to Redd is to trade him as soon as possible. Much like they did with Mo Williams, the Bucks could trade Redd to a contender for virtually nothing, maybe a young player and a veteran with a non guaranteed contract. In this scenario Redd's knee would have to be in good shape. If his knee was sound he could be attractive to a team looking for a veteran shooter off the bench like the Cavs/Knicks, Magic, Celtics, Mavs, or even the Lakers.
This scenario is slightly more likely than the first but still rather unlikely. In reality, what team is will take an 18 million dollar risk on a player recovering from a second consecutive knee surgery who best case scenario is the sixth man and or come back player of the year? Simply because if Redd were to win one of those awards his team would likely win a NBA championship this option can not be ruled out.
The third option is the most likely and I have mixed feelings about how it will turn out for the Bucks in 2010-11. The Milwaukee Bucks are most likely stuck with Michael Redd for better or worse in the 2010-11 season. If Redd is the starting shooting guard, the Bucks will be doomed missing the playoffs and ending up reverting back to their recent lottery ways.
Especially because if Redd starts, the Bucks will not have resigned mid season acquisition John Salmons who really fit in well with the Bucks under Scott Skiles. Redd just doesn't fit with the Bucks as a starter anymore. It might work if he is willing to be a team player and come off the bench.
I think the Bucks could make another leap next season, perhaps making it out of the first round. If Redd becomes the player he was, in the years of the Bucks "Big Three" Sam Cassell, Ray Allen, and Glen Robinson, and can stay healthy he could contend for the sixth man or come back player of the year awards and really help the Bucks win a lot of games in the Eastern conference.
A lineup of Jennings, Salmons, the First Rd Pick, Mbah a Moute, and Bogut with Redd, Ilyasova, Delfino, and Ridnour coming off the bench should make the Bucks an even more dangerous team than they were in 2009-10 taking the Hawks to the seventh game before they ran out of gas.
Whatever Hammond decides to do, hopefully he resigns Salmons and Ridnour and maybe even Hakim Warrick while hitting again in the draft this time on a small forward. If he does those things, I think the Bucks will win at least one playoff series in 2010-11 and possibly go even deeper into the playoffs. As they showed last year when they get hot they are a tough team to beat.
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