|Could Jacque Vaughn be pointing at the trade target for the Bucks? (Getty Images)|
If you can shoot the ball at an elite level and not kill your team on defense, you're always going to be a hot commodity in the NBA. And that's exactly what Orlando Magic shooting guard J.J. Redick is. The sharpshooter with the perfect shooting motion, endless motor going around screens and solid understanding of defending within the team concept is the target of many front offices, including the Milwaukee Bucks, apparently.
Weekend Dime addendum: Milwaukee now in mix for Magic's JJ Redick. Bucks, I'm told, assessing their ability to retain sharpshooter long term— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 9, 2013
To meet asking price for Redick -- expiring(s) and a future first-round pick -- Bucks naturally wanna know they can retain free agent-to-be— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 9, 2013
If the Magic are only looking for an expiring and a first-round pick in exchange for Redick, the Bucks look like great trade partners. They have two expiring contracts in the neighborhood of Redick's $6.1 million expiring contract. Either Beno Udrih or Samuel Dalembert (he of the 35-point explosion fame) would work under the Collective Bargaining Agreement trade rules, and the Bucks have all of their first-round draft picks over the next few years.
If the Bucks are willing to give up a first-round pick and not have heavy protection on it, that could be more than enough to snag Redick away from Orlando and leave the rest of the NBA scrambling to find another available shooter. But the Bucks wanting to retain Redick in free agency shouldn't deter them from not making a deal like this happen.
The Bucks are sitting in the eighth seed with a four-game lead over the Philadelphia 76ers. They are not in real danger of falling out of the playoffs, but they have a realistic chance of moving up to the fifth seed if they acquire another shooter for someone like Dalembert, who really isn't a big part of their success. Even though they have played Miami well over the last couple of seasons, avoiding the Heat in the first round and trying to upset someone like New York, Indiana or Chicago should be the goal.