Every Friday until the trade deadline I will take a look at the pros and cons of a completely fake, unsubstantiated trade. In this belated entry into the series I look at two teams on very different ends of the NBA’s competitive spectrum and how they can help each other.
Chicago Bulls Receive
J.J. Redick (1 yr remaining)
Salary Taken On: $6,190,000
Salary Sent Out: $6,711,389
Salary Taken On: $6,711,389
Salary Sent Out: $6,190,000
Why the Bulls Would Do It
Chicago has been seeking a shooting guard who can play sound defense, hit threes, and limit mistakes, while not hurting their cap situation. Redick solves all of those problems, and the Bulls know it. He may be one of the most sought after commodities at the deadline thanks to the dearth of shooting guards available and his expiring contract.
He would provide much needed spacing to the Bulls’ offense without taking anything off the table on the other end. Redick’s team defense is strong and he should be able to work into Tom Thibodeau’s concept easily. Looking forward, he would be the perfect backcourt complement to Derrick Rose, and the Bulls would likely hope to retain his services in the offseason. If his price doesn’t rise above the $7-8 million level he would represent excellent value over the life of his next contract in this situation.
This trade would send out a combination of failed free agents (Hamilton, Vlad Rad) and future assets that aren’t likely to help the current incarnation of the Bulls (Teague and the pick, which is likely to be in the 20’s). When Rose is healthy this team is a contender, and making a move to bolster the current roster is the right move.
Why the Bulls Wouldn’t Do It
Chicago may not want to give up both Teague and a draft pick for a player who could leave in free agency. Redick’s pending free agency would be less of a problem if Rose were healthy, but it’s not clear that he will be able to contribute heavily to this year’s team when he returns from his knee injury. The possibility of giving up two young assets for essentially nothing in this scenario could be enough to keep the Bulls away.
Why the Magic Would Do It
The Magic need talent, and trades like this are the best way to acquire it. Redick is a nice player, but he is a role player who will be pushing 30 by the time this team will even have a chance to be relevant again. Trading him for young talent and being willing to take back an extra year of salary in the form of Hamilton are acceptable risks.
Hamilton and Radmanovic are salary filler, and at least one, if not both, would be waived or bought out on arrival. The meat of this trade for Orlando would be Teague and the pick. Teague is not ready to contribute heavily right away, but he could back up Jameer Nelson while learning from the veteran point guard. This would have the added benefit of giving Orlando a staggering two point guards, keeping the likes of E’Twaun Moore from running the offense when Nelson sits.
Add in the draft pick, and this could be a worthy haul for Redick and another important step in the rebuilding process.
Why the Magic Wouldn’t Do It
Orlando’s cap situation is less pristine than one would hope for a team competing for the #1 overall pick in the upcoming draft. As such, pulling in Hamilton’s contract in the deal may make the front office balk. If they are looking to clear as much cap space as possible to facilitate under-the-cap trades, this deal would be a step in the wrong direction. On the other hand, this year’s free agent class is not inspiring enough for the Magic to start slashing salary (even if that was the sort of thing they could pull off, which I don’t think they could). Losing one expiring contract for one that expires after next season really shouldn’t jeopardize any of their plans.
All told, this would be a smaller trade, but one that could help both teams align their assets with their current goals.