After his superb 23-point, 7-rebound, 8-assist effort against the Denver Nuggets yesterday, Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick's become a hot topic today, obviously. But the talk isn't just about the numbers he posted. Brian Schmitz has broached the inevitable topic of Redick's pending restricted free agency. Some excerpts:
After bailing out the Vince Carter-less Magic on Sunday, J.J. Redick ended a sentence by saying "if I’m back" with the team next season.
You wouldn’t think another team would break the bank for Redick. Even though he has worked himself into the role of a solid backup shooting guard, NBA economics are suddenly in play for the non-superstars.
But all it takes is one team to make an offer.
To have the right to match an offer, Orlando must first extend Redick a Qualifying Offer, which ShamSports' database indicates will be $3.887 million. That figure is merely academic and does not reflect what Orlando would have to pay him, although coincidentally an annual salary of roughly $4 million seems fair for a reserve shooting guard entering his athletic prime, at 26 years old. The Magic have nearly $79 million in salary commitments next season, which will balloon if Matt Barnes exercises his player option of $1.6 million and if Orlando re-signs Redick. And, accounting for the luxury tax bill, the Magic will be on the hook for a lot of money, with or without those two.
So I pose this question to you for today's discussion: should the Magic keep Redick? And what's a fair value for him? On the first point, I've written before about what Redick brings to this team, and yesterday's performance is an extreme example of his preparedness, reliability, and skill. To help with that second part, here's a list of players from Redick's draft class who've already signed extensions, and their corresponding contract values. Salary data from the incomparable, indispensable ShamSports.
|Avg. Annual Value
It's a bit hard to place Redick's worth based on that chart because of the huge disparity between the highest- and lowest-paid examples. Roy is a franchise-level player; Balkman signed his extension because he wasn't sure if his play this season would boost his value, so he took what he could get, so to speak. Schmitz, for his part, thinks Orlando and Redick will work everything out, and says "If no other team forces the Magic’s hand, they likely try to lock up Redick for, oh, let’s say four years, $12-15 million."
I'd like to table a more in-depth discussion of Redick's free agency until the end of the season, and I'll have much more on it then. But, briefly, I'd say he should be a key part of this team's future success, and Orlando should pay him accordingly.