League taking notice of J.J. Redick's strong start

J.J. Redick - Douglas Jones - US Presswire

Through four games, the Duke product leads the Magic in scoring and assists.

Few of J.J. Redick's most ardent supporters would even have predicted that, after four games, the Duke product would lead the Orlando Magic in scoring and assists.

And yet here Redick is, standing as the Magic's best and most productive player, in the same sixth-man role he's occupied for his recent career. He's posting 17.5 points and five assists per game and shooting 52.1 percent from the floor.

In response to Redick's performance to date, Chris Broussard of ESPN Insider (subscription required) lists him among the league's five most surprising players.

"[W]hile his long-range stroke remains pure, Redick is doing much more than just planting himself behind the arc," Broussard writes. "Just 18 of his 48 field goal attempts this season have been 3s, a per-game average of 4.5 that doesn't even rank in the league's top 10."

That Redick is a veteran contributor on a rebuilding team cements him as a candidate for a trade. "[S]o far Redick is looking like someone contenders will soon start phoning the Magic about before February's trade deadline," Broussard says.

Though Redick certainly has trade value, John Denton says Orlando may keep him for the long term. Orlando likes his professionalism and leadership: the OrlandoMagic.com scribe notes that Redick has taken to mentoring rookie forward Andrew Nicholson. "The hope here is that Redick has a great season, re-signs with the Magic this summer and finishes his career where it began seven seasons ago," says Denton. Nonetheless, Redick's days in pinstripes could be numbered if Orlando is "blown away by a trade offer."

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