It's my belief that we should be excited about any trade that happens - after all, we should be rooting for any player we receive for the remainder of the season, or seasons to come. It is because of this belief that I will break down the J.J. Redick trade with some positive bias favoring the Magic, and counting the trade as a victory for the franchise
Let's begin with Doron Lamb. As a rookie shooting guard selected in the second round, Lamb is considered to be nothing more than a prospect that may or may not pan out as a professional player. At the core of this reasoning, Lamb is a low risk player with some potential to be a serviceable rotation player, as he is currently only really capable of taking jump shots. This is somewhat comparable to Redick, whom we drafted in 2006. Billed as nothing much other than an excellent shooter, Redick developed his game over time and went from a fringe player that had trouble breaking Brian Hill's (and Stan Van Gundy's) rotation, to our most appealing asset seven years later, and arguably the team's most complete player, after years of practice and training. Some people may point to Lamb's current shooting percentage this year (an abysmal 34.7% from the field) as a reason for him not being a capable professional player, but consider that this is a relatively small sample size, as Lamb has not yet attempted 100 field goal attempts on the year. Less relevantly, you could also point to Redick's shooting in his rookie year, a poor 41.0% from the field. Given these comparisons, it's certainly plausible to believe that Lamb, while not having the collegiate pedigree that Redick holds, has the potential to work himself as a productive all-around player, through practice and training, since he already has the coveted shooting stroke
Tobias Harris is most arguably the centerpiece the Magic received in the trade. As a second year player, Harris should be able to take over the starting SF position somewhat easily. Despite having similar stats and abilities as Maurice Harkless, Harris is a somewhat better three point shooter, and in general a better scorer than Harkless, who at the moment really only has the ability to score by getting offensive rebounds or receiving backdoor cuts. Harris gives the Magic an upgrade at the SF position in the immediate and near future, and should give the starting five a little more offense than what has been displayed during this woeful season
Beno Udrih is most likely a player thrown in in order to make salaries match. However, he is a serviceable backup point guard, something that has been severely lacking on this Magic team ever since Chris Duhon was hired. Udrih also provides a player to handle the ball as Jameer is injured at the moment, and should help the second unit's offensive anemia that has been a plague all season without the help of a true ball handler to help out the second team
Perhaps what helps this team the most in this trade, however, is allowing the roster to reshuffle its players back to the positions they are most comfortable with. With Redick gone and Udrih here, E'Twaun Moore can move to his more natural position of SG once Jameer is healthy enough to return. With Harris in the mix, Harkless can become a quality player off the bench at the SF position, eliminating the need to constantly shift Afflalo to SF. Both the first and second units benefit from this trade, as both are cemented a little more clearly without players shifting around to positions they aren't as capable of playing
At this point, we can shift to the players that we've lost through this trade. The most obvious player is Redick. Although Redick was arguably our most prolific all-around player, the fact of the matter was that his necessary minutes was causing a lot of rotational problems. This is a problem that I now see the Bucks having, as they now have Monta Ellis taking time away from Redick, when, in all likelihood, Redick will be providing a far better effort and ability than Ellis has been able to give this year. Essentially, the SG logjam has shifted from Orlando to Milwaukee, with the added problem that they can't really move Ellis or Redick to SF to provide minutes for both
Furthermore, despite no longer owning Redick heading into the offseason, the fact of the matter is that the amount of money we are willing to offer him remains the same regardless of whether or not we own the rights to him. Redick was never in the running to have five years, or to be a max player; as such, I can only reasonably see us offering him about $7 million, had we still had him at the end of the season. This figure does not change if we don't have him as a player, so logically, it makes sense to trade him now for prospects. The truth is that, like with Dwight, either Redick wants to play here or he doesn't, and having his rights does not change that fact. We can re-sign him in the offseason if he would like to remain here, and he can sign with whatever team he wants in the offseason, same as before, and I don't think trading him really affects his relationship with the current management. In the end, it depends on what Redick is looking for in the offseason - money, a championship opportunity, or a comfortable team with a fan base that already loves him, and owning his rights does not change this fact. It is possible for a traded player to sign with a team that traded him away a year prior. If I'm allowed to use the NFL as a reference, the Miami Dolphins traded away Jason Taylor before he ultimately signed with the Dolphins one or two offseasons later
Regarding Ish Smith, it was obvious that he had no real talent other than speed and can't really develop as a player in the NBA. Gustavo Ayon may be a quality player, but he is already 27 and it doesn't seem as though there's much room to grow. Consider the fact that he was already having difficulty keeping a regular spot in the rotation, and it shows that his game was entirely expendable. Josh McRoberts had fallen entirely out of the rotation recently, and I don't know if he had a falling out with coaches or what, but it was obvious from the start of the season that he had no real place on this team. Also, completely unrelated to anything, but I can't stop accidentally typing McRobots whenever I try to type his name
It's a lot of reading, and I thank you for taking the time for my somewhat biased thoughts. I give my well-wishes to the newly departed players, and give my warm welcomes for the newly incoming ones. Go Magic!
This FanPost was made by a member of the Orlando Pinstriped Post community, and is to be treated as the opinions and views of its author, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.