Denton: Magic Complete Mega Trade Involving Redick; Gather More Financial Flexibility (Part 2)

By John Denton
February 21, 2013

Thursday’s transaction sent a clear message that the Magic are intent on saving their salary cap space – likely to be used following the 2013-14 season – in order to lure one or more superstar-caliber players to Orlando. The Magic have just seven players and $16.7 million in guaranteed contracts for the 2014-15 season, potentially giving them room to be major players in the free-agency sweepstakes after next season.

Already featuring a roster with four promising rookies, the Magic also are attempting to position themselves to fill the team with blossoming young players who can serve as the foundation of the franchise going forward. Center Nikola Vucevic and Andrew Nicholson were recently picked to play in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, while Maurice Harkless (20 points and eight rebounds on Wednesday in Dallas) continues to make strides on an almost nightly basis.

``I know that we’re going to continue to bring in players who are about the right things, want to be here and embody the right work habits, the right intensity and the right sense of urgency and togetherness,’’ Hennigan said. ``So we’re going to continue to bring in players who represent players who represent the organization the right way and continue to grow together and gel together and over time become a good team.’’

Redick became one of the NBA’s most talked-about names over the past two weeks as teams sought out the Magic to discuss potential deals. Redick’s pending free agency and desire to hit unrestricted free agency this summer somewhat restricted his value in several potential trades.

Redick clearly grew weary of all of the trade talk, saying over and over again late Wednesday night in Dallas that he just wanted some clarity about his future. And he repeatedly stressed that regardless of the outcome that he would harbor no ill will toward the Magic because he understood the difficult personnel decisions that had to be made in order to benefit the best interests of an organization.

And the uncertainty over his future wore on Redick over the past few nights. He made just four of 14 shots and missed all seven of his 3-point tries on Tuesday against Charlotte. And Wednesday in Dallas, Redick had a three-of-12 shooting night with four more misses from 3-point range.

Redick posted a thank you message on Twitter that read: ``Very grateful for my seven years in Orlando. Proud to have been part of some terrific teams. Humbled by the support of the Central Florida community and all Magic fans worldwide. I will miss you.’’

The trade was consummated just before 3 p.m. on Thursday and just before the Magic (15-39) were to depart Dallas for Memphis, where they will face the Grizzlies Friday night at the FedEx Forum. Redick, McRoberts, Smith and Ayon hugged teammates and coaches on the team plane Thursday before heading their separate directions on Thursday.

The four new Magic players were off to Orlando on Thursday where they must pass physicals before being cleared to play. The newcomers likely won’t join the team until Saturday’s home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Because veteran point guard Jameer Nelson is out with a strained patellar tendon in his knee and Hedo Turkoglu is serving a 20-game suspension, the Magic will likely have only eight players dressed for Friday’s game. One of those players could be Al Harrington, who has yet to play this season following four procedures on his knee last summer.

Redick’s expiring contract and willingness to become an unrestricted free agent this summer limited the number of teams interested in trading for the shooting guard. While the Magic had potential deals for first-round picks in hand, Hennigan felt he was able to get more in the form of Harris and Lamb.

``We had a lot of talks where we could have gotten a first-round pick, but we felt with Tobias being a first-round pick (in 2011) and Doron being someone we value as a first-round talent, we felt that was satisfactory for us. But if you are playing role reversal and you are the other team, you would have some concern that there are no assurances that J.J. will stay with that team. So that risk was such that teams wanted to mitigate it by not including a first (draft pick).’’

In Harris and Lamb, the Magic are getting two coveted young players who hail from highly successful collegiate programs. Harris, the 19th pick of the 2011 NBA Draft, can play either forward position, while Lamb has shown promise as a playmaking point guard.

Harris, a 6-foot-8, 226-pound second-year player, scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds in the first game of the season and has since scored in double figures six times this season. The University of Tennessee product and former high school All-American is a 46.1 percent shooter while averaging 4.9 points and 2.0 rebounds in 28 games (14 starts) this season for Milwaukee.

``We feel that Tobias and Mo (Harkless) will complement each other,’’ Hennigan said. ``We feel that Mo is someone who we continue to see developing on the defensive end of the floor as well as the offensive end. And the same can be said for said for Tobias. We don’t see a lot of overlap because of the type of workers that they are.’’

Lamb, who was the second-leading scorer (13.7 ppg.) on Kentucky’s 2012 national championship team, has averaged 3.4 points and 0.9 assists this season in 23 games with the Bucks. The 42nd pick of last June’s NBA Draft, Lamb scored eight points four different times this season.

Udrih, a 6-foot-3, 203-pounder, is quite familiar with Magic coach Jacque Vaughn from his three seasons spent in San Antonio early in his career. The nine-year NBA veteran has played for the Spurs, Kings and Bucks. He’s averaging 6.7 points and 3.5 assists this season while scoring in double figures 11 times. Udrih, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has averaged 9.1 points and 3.5 assists while splitting time at point guard and shooting guard.

Warick, an eight-year NBA veteran, has averaged 6.9 points and 3.2 rebounds in 27 games this season with the Bobcats. In 526 career games, he’s averaged 9.4 points and 4.0 rebounds for Memphis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Phoenix, New Orleans and Charlotte.

Redick blossomed into a go-to scorer and playmaker this season for the Magic while averaging career highs in scoring (15.1 ppg.) and assists (4.4 apg.). It was a further continuation of the growth that Redick has made throughout his time in Orlando while he raised his scoring average each of the past five seasons. Over the course of 396 games in Orlando – 52 of which were starts – Redick averaged 9.2 points and made 549 3-pointers.

Redick, a first-round pick in 2006, helped the Magic reach the NBA Finals in 2009 and the Eastern Conference Finals in 2010. He has been a part of six consecutive playoff teams in Orlando – the longest such streak in the Eastern Conference.

McRoberts, acquired from the Lakers last August in the four-team, 12-player blockbuster deal, averaged 3.9 points and 3.3 assists in 41 games for the Magic. Smith had appeared in 36 games with the Magic, averaging 2.4 points and 1.6 assists off the bench.

``We feel that we have a lot of fans favorites who are starting to come to the surface,’’ Hennigan said of trading away a fan favorite in Redick. ``We have guys that we believe in, guys that we are proud of and guys who can grow into the role of becoming new fan favorites. I understand that the emotional aspect of it is raw and you can feel that. But my hope is that our fans will stick with us and believe in what we’re doing as much as we believe in what we’re doing. We’re confident that we’re moving in the right direction.’’

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