Friday, February 22, 2013

Struggling Magic trade former Cave Spring star J.J. Redick to Milwaukee

The shooting guard is in the midst of his most productive season as an NBA player.

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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Shooting guardJ.J. Redick was traded by the Orlando Magic to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday afternoon, just minutes before the NBA's annual trade deadline expired.

The trade hasn't been made official yet. But when it's processed by NBA officials, Redick, point guard Ish Smith and power forward/center Gustavo Ayon will go to the Bucks in exchange for forward Tobias Harris, shooting guard Doron Lamb and veteran point guard Beno Udrih.

The Magic were leery of committing significant long-term money to re-sign Redick (Cave Spring) because he is a role player, and team officials want to be careful in how they allocate their payroll. That's more important than ever because more punitive penalties for teams that cross the luxury tax threshold soon will go into effect for the entire league, courtesy of the 15-month-old collective bargaining agreement.

Plus, the Magic also had no guarantee that Redick would have re-signed with the team if it had kept him beyond the trade deadline.

Team officials determined that their best move was to gain assets - even young, unproven assets - rather than risk seeing Redick walk away for nothing in free agency.

Redick - the Magic's most popular player - has been frustrated by the team's inept run of 26 losses over their last 29 games, and he realizes that the franchise's rebuilding efforts could take years to complete.

He'll turn 29 years old in June. By the time the Magic finish their rebuilding project, Redick could be well past his prime as a player.

Asked late Wednesday whether he wanted to re-sign with Orlando, he answered, "I haven't thought about the long term, to be honest with you. This whole season has been about trying to get better as a player and trying to put myself in a position for the deadline to be healthy and to be playing well, to be helping my team. And if I come back, I come back. If I get traded, I get traded. I'll be the same guy. I'll worry about the long term after the season."

Redick is having the best season statistically of his seven-year career.

He's posting per-game career highs in minutes (31.5), points (15.1), rebounds (2.4) and assists (4.4), and he's made 45percent of his shot attempts, another career best.

He's now in the final year of a three-year contract that is paying him about $6.2 million this season.

Redick joins a Bucks squad that currently is in eighth place in the Eastern Conference playoff chase, so he'll have much more to play for in Milwaukee.

He is certain to become a free agent in July, because the collective bargaining agreement prohibits players in the midst of one-, two- or three-year deals from signing extensions.

Harris, 20, in his second NBA season, is averaging 4.9 points and 2.0 rebounds. Lamb, a 21-year-old rookie, has appeared in just 23 NBA games. Udrih, 30, is in his ninth NBA season. Because they're young, Harris and Lamb have inexpensive contracts and will be under team control for several more seasons. Udrih is in the final year of a contract that is paying him about $7.4 million this season.

The Magic also made a second trade Thursday afternoon, and the deal will send power forward Josh McRoberts to the Charlotte Bobcats for veteran power forward Hakim Warrick.

McRoberts played sparingly in his lone season in Orlando, and his contract, which pays him about $3.1 million, is set to expire at the end of the season.

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