NBA Free Agency 2010: Is J.J. Redick Worth The Cost For Chicago Bulls?
The Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic are in a bidding war for restricted free agent J.J. Redick.
Recently-signed swingman Kyle Korver and Redick could answer the Bulls' perimeter-shooting woes.
The problem is that the Bulls are laying three years, $20 million on the line for Redick. That's a pretty hefty price-tag for just a pure shooter.
The Magic are expected to match the Bulls' offer, but is Redick worth every penny?
Pros: Bulls need a shooting guard
The Bulls signed Korver for three years worth $15 million.
Adding Redick along with Korver strengthens the Bulls' offensive lineup.
Put both on the floor together, and opponents wouldn't know which shooter to stay on while simultaneously worrying about Derrick Rose.
A 40-percent shooter, Redick is a deadly threat from the perimeter and could open the driving lanes for Rose.
Redick would fill in the shooting guard position that the Bulls are looking for, and Korver would back him up from the bench.
Plus, he would work well with pick-and-rolls off guys like Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer.
Pros: He's only 26
Redick is just one year older than LeBron James. That labels him on the young guys list.
Who knows what kind of threat he can grow to become once he strikes his prime?
The Bulls haven't had a lights-out shooter since Ben Gordon, and unlike Gordon, Redick is consistent.
Gordon, as proven with both the Bulls and the Pistons, is only hot when he's hot. When he struggles offensively, his team struggles.
But the Bulls wouldn't have to worry much if Redick has an off-day. He doesn't let his performance in one quarter affect his overall game.
And with a powerful shooter at 26, Chicago can only hope for him grow stronger and contribute more for a dynasty.
If you're comparing price tags, Gordon would've cost $11 million.
Pro: Better than other shooting guards in the market
The Bulls don't have much to choose from with what's left of shooting guards in the free agency market.
Dwyane Wade was the top shooting guard among all the 2010 free agents, but the Bulls struck out there.
Ray Allen would've been an older version of Ben Gordon, but Allen went back to the Celtics.
Next would've been Anthony Morrow and Korver (check), and Redick ousts them overall, though by the slimmest of margins.
You need brains for the game, and Redick knows when to shoot, drive, and pass (that is, when the lanes are open or if it's necessary to make the extra pass).
And the experience of playing with one of the top Eastern Conference contenders has made him a better player at his age.
He proved to be a significant contributor for the Magic as they vied against the Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals.
Cons: An unathletic defender
The Bulls lost a lot when Kirk Hinrich left.
Sure, Hinrich was a poor shooter, but he was a lockdown defender. And the Bulls could trust him covering players like LeBron (despite the height advantage) and Wade.
Even Allen Iverson (in his prime) didn't wear down Hinrich; Hinrich would stick to A.I. like glue.
But Redick can't move his feet very well defensively.
Put him one-on-one on guys like Wade or Kobe, and you'll find those guys blowing past him.
Wade is a player who moves well off the ball, and if the Bulls want to beat Miami, they need to trust someone to guard Wade and the likes.
That defender isn't Redick.
But can new coach Tom Thibodeau, who turned the Celtics into the best defensive team in the NBA last season, turn Redick into a decent defender?
Cons: Offensive limitations
At 6'4", many would expect him to help Rose with the ball-handling.
But Redick is far from the answer there. He can't do much with the dribble and wouldn't know what to do when double-teamed.
Expect opponents to keep a watchful eye on Redick at the perimeters, trying to close out on him faster.
Redick doesn't really have as quick of a release or high jump to make up for his size, compared to Kobe Bryant and even Ben Gordon.
And when a defender is glued to him, Redick can't knock down shots as effectively.
Bottom line: Solid player, but is worth less than what is being offered
Should the Bulls bother pushing the price on Redick if the Magic match their offer?
If the Bulls get Redick, they'll have roughly $6 million in cap space left to land either another big-man or a back-up point guard. (All maybe at the third-year veteran minimum.)
Yet, the Bulls should make sure that whoever they get is a prime defender, especially with the the three-headed monster from South Beach threatening the conference.
As of now, they're targeting Ronnie Brewer, Keith Bogans or Roger Mason Jr. (say who?)
If the Magic do match the Bulls' offer, the Bulls will still have $14 million to work with. Should they save the money for next season and hope to land someone like Carmelo Anthony?
Hopefully not. They shouldn't put off for the next free agent season. It's all now.
The Bulls were already playoff contenders with Rose, Noah, Gibson and Deng.
By adding Boozer and Korver, the Bulls have gotten even better.
Redick, a very decent overall player, would solidify the team. He might not be Wade or LeBron, but he complements the Bulls' roster very well.
Still, he should have more of a mid-level price tag.
But it's just a few extra (million) bucks, and who else could the Bulls possibly get with that money?