Michael Redd Update: Why the Elephant in the Room Stays for the Milwaukee Bucks

JD MoContributor IJanuary 21, 2011

Believe it or not, this elephant is very well hidden
Believe it or not, this elephant is very well hidden

Why trade an $18 million contract that expires at the end of the season and is being reimbursed at an 80 percent insurance rate? 

You wouldn't and Bucks GM John Hammond probably won't, as Hammond last week told WSSP (1250 AM), Milwaukee sports radio.

Because Michael Redd has missed more than 41 games in a row, insurance pays 80 percent (according to our trustworthy sources at Brewhoop) of Redd's $18.3 million salary.  

Redd missed Game 41 last April and he's missed 46 games since and seven playoff games. Even by conservative estimates, the Bucks have pocketed about $9 million that they would have paid to Redd, and are currently saving about $40,000 per day. 

It certainly pays to hold off on any Redd trade possibilities as long as possible.

Of course, Hammond didn't mention the insurance in the interview, and what John Hammond says and what John Hammond does are two different things. But Bucks owner, U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, is, for a change, making money this season, win or lose.

Where does that leave the Bucks with the Feb. 24 trading deadline looming?  With five guard-forward, forward-guard types ranging in price from Corey Maggette's $9.6 million down to Darrington Hobson's $190,000 and surgically repaired hips, and a lot of talent in between.

One of them, Carlos Delfino, practiced for the first time Thursday after missing 32 games with concussive symptoms. And there's a sixth man, too—defensive specialist Luc Mbah a Moute, fighting for playing time at small forward and power forward.

Something's gotta give.

Maggette's name surfaced on the Dallas Mavericks "radar" in their search to replace forward Caron Butler's 15 points per game and good shooting from the wings:

"ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher mentioned in a (Jan. 13) Thursday night visit with 103.3 FM’s Ian Fitzsimmons that the Mavs and Bucks have discussed Maggette’s availability. Maggette, though, is even more expensive than [Stephen] Jackson, with more than $21 million left on his contract through 2012-13 after this season. Jackson is likewise a far better fit with his ability to stretch the floor, passing eye, defensive ability and proven toughness. If Philadelphia’s younger and more versatile Andre Iguodala is too expensive, Maggette is way too expensive for what he can deliver."

No sooner had ESPN tried to talk the Mavericks into the Bobcats' Jackson as reliable offense, than the Bucks were apparently showcasing Maggette in Houston, while I was busy proving that the Mavs would be more interested in a good spot-up shooter than in volume-type scorers like Maggette or Jackson. 

Playoff-run tested John Salmons, the Bucks' 40% three-baller, would be a far better fit for the Mavs Dirk-first offense.

"We Have Offense," Maggette and the Bucks front office yelled on Martin Luther King Day as Maggette scored 25 points in a season-high 38 minutes...in another losing effort.

Maggette followed that up with 21 points against the Wizards on Wednesday as the Bucks broke a four-game losing streak.

"No You Don't," the Denver Nuggets cried as the Nets walked away from the Carmelo deal.

"Yes, But We Shoot the Ball Better," enjoined the Raptors as they bought out Peja Stojakovic less than 24 hours after the Mavs beat the Lakers in Dallas. The timing of the Mavs win over the Lakers is important because Peja, 'lo and behold, has a verbal commitment to sign with Dallas.

Seems the Mavs were looking for much better long range shooting than Maggette (26%) or Jackson (33%) had to offer, like Peja's actual ability "to stretch the floor."

No, the Mavs "Gotta Do Something" to replace Butler, said Charles Barkley a couple of hours later on TNT's "Inside the NBA" after the Mavs scored just 77 points in a loss to the Bulls, playing without Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. 

Yes, Bucks fans, Kurt Thomas was a badass in that game.

Barkley's TNT co-chair, Kevin McHale, suggested "a veteran like [Tayshaun] Prince" as the answer. Yes, Prince's smart offense would be more reliable than Maggette or Jackson's, and a much better fit within the Dirk-first context. Detroit is looking to shed 2011-12 payroll; but no, Prince is no John Salmons offensively.

So where does all this leave the Bucks? With five guard-forward, forward-guard types plus one of the league's best defenders in the wings and GM Hammond probably fielding offers as I type.

Salmons is less expensive than Maggette, Jackson or Prince and would be a perfect fit for the Mavs -- and the Mavs have center Brendan Haywood sitting on their bench. Haywood's expensive, but he would look good in the playoffs backing up Andrew Bogut. Bucks power forward Drew Gooden, a Mav last season, also has a tradeable contract.

Michael Redd's expiring contract is a nice incentive for the Denver Nuggets to come calling.

The Bucks training facility in St. Francis is just an hour or so north of Chicago, depending on how fast you drive on the I, 'Melo. 

Think you could win a title with Andrew Bogut and Brandon Jennings?

J.D. Mo is the perpetrator-in-chief of The Bob Boozer Jinx, a Milwaukee Bucks/NBA blog.


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