Question & Answer with Evan Dunlap: What is the deal with Magic guard J.J. Redick?

USA TODAY Sports

Denver Stiffs Twitter reader @MarioJann asked us over the weekend what it would take for the Nuggets to acquire the Orlando Magic's sharpshooting J.J. Redick. I decided to reach out to Evan Dunlap from the Orlando Pinstriped Post for an inside look on Jonathan Clay "J.J." Redick.

And away we go ...

1.) J.J. Redick is on an expiring $6.1 million contract this season. Does the 28 year-old Redick have a future with the young Orlando Magic?

Evan Dunlap: It's tough to say if Redick has a future with Orlando or not. On the one hand, he's its best player. On the other, his age and contract status would seem to put him at odds with the team's rebuilding project. It is worth noting that Orlando doesn't see itself as in a rebuild--nobody on the team or in the front-office will use the r-word--and, as of Sunday's results, it's just two games out of a playoff spot.


2.) Do you think Redick will get traded this season? Or will Orlando wait until the off-season to determine Redick's future with the team?

Dunlap: If I had to guess, I'd say the Magic will wait until the offseason to deal with Redick's future. Trading him isn't out of the question, but I don't get the sense that Orlando will trade him just for the sake of trading him: it'll want a substantial return for its best player, one who'll be in demand as championship contenders look to fortify their benches for the stretch run.

3.) If Redick were to be traded, what does Orlando need in a trade? What types of assets? And would they need a team to absorb a "bad contract"?

Dunlap: In Andrew Nicholson and Nikola Vučević, the Magic have two young big men younger than 23 around whom they can build. An 18-year-old rookie forward Maurice Harkless, who's taken over as a starter in Hedo Türkoğlu's absence, has also shown some promise. The position at which Orlando is least stocked for the future is point guard. E'Twaun Moore, 23, is learning to play the position, but he's a natural shooting guard who struggles to run an offense. Ish Smith, 24, hasn't played meaningful minutes because he's such a liability on offense despite his great quickness. So if Orlando is looking to trade a major rotation player, I expect it'll want a young point guard in return.

The Magic would also like to add to their stable of future draft picks, so any team that can sweeten a deal with at least one of those, even if it's a second-rounder, might have an advantage. Similarly, any team willing to take on the contracts of Glen Davis or Hedo Türkoğlu would receive strong consideration. Türkoğlu is owed $12 million in 2013-14, but only half of that amount is guaranteed; he can be paid $6 million to take a walk, in other words. Davis is owed $6.4 million in 2013-14 and $6.6 million in 2014-15.

4.) How is Redick playing this season? He's shooting a career high 5.0 three-point attempts thus far, but shooting a career low 34% from deep - what gives there? Is Redick more than a three-point shooter? How is his defense?

Dunlap: Redick is probably having his best professional season despite his strangely ordinary three-point shooting. If and when he breaks out of his slump, look out.

He's much more than just a shooter, though he entered the league as a standstill three-point specialist. Over the last three seasons, he's developed a solid repertoire of in-between shots off the dribble to bolster his offense when defenders run him off the three-point line. Moreover, he's grown as a passer and playmaker. Though not a point guard in the truest sense of the term, Redick can and does initiate offense, particularly off pin-downs. He's averaging a career-best 4.9 assists per game through Sunday's action.

Perhaps the best feature of Redick's offense is that he's always moving, with or without the ball. In this way, he puts constant pressure on the man who's guarding him as well as would-be help defenders.

Defensively, Redick's DNA put him at a disadvantage: he's 6-foot-4, but with what he himself refers to as a "negative wingspan," which is to say he has short arms which make him defend slightly smaller than his height. Most of the league's shooting guards, and even some of its point guards, can simply shoot over the top of him.
Having said all that, Redick competes hard defensively and he has a high basketball IQ. You'll rarely catch him napping or out of position on that end.

5.) Let's say you're Rob Hennigan: looking at the Nuggets' roster, what would it take to pry Redick away?

Dunlap: Honestly, I don't see much. Denver can't offer a young point guard and, being so near the luxury-tax threshold, can't offer salary relief either. Jordan Hamilton looks like a decent wing prospect, but the Magic will want much more than a player of Hamilton's caliber for Redick. If the Nuggets think Redick is the guy who can bring them to the next level--and, for whatever it's worth, I think he'd be a brilliant fit in George Karl's offense--they'll need to recruit a third team to facilitate the deal.

***

A big thanks to Evan for taking the time to answer my questions and drop some knowledge on Denver Stiffs! Be sure to catch more of his work on the Orlando Pinstriped Post.

And if you Stiffs have any suggestions for more of these Q&A's about trade target players, please email me at the below address and we'll get them going!

Denver Nuggets Tickets

Nate_Timmons on Twitter
ntimmons73@yahoo.com

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