The Chicago Bulls have correctly identified their team’s biggest flaws — consistent production from the 4, perimeter shooting, supplementary scoring — and made move after move to make themselves a better team. They’ve picked up Carlos Boozer, signed Kyle Korver, and now, according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, have signed Orlando Magic shooting guard J.J. Redick to an offer sheet for a three-year, $20 million contract.
This, ladies and gents, is a strong contingency plan. Adding Travis Outlaw and signing Tyrus Thomas to an offer sheet? That’s something else.
Of course, Orlando could retain Redick by simply matching Chicago’s offer. They did that very thing last summer when reserve center Marcin Gortat signed a five-year, $34 million sheet with the Dallas Mavericks. That may be a bit pricey for a reserve, but GM Otis Smith and Orlando’s ownership have made it clear that the team is willing to pay for well-fitting, talented pieces. That description seems to fit Redick perfectly, as he came into his own last season as a defender, a shooter, and a functioning member of the Magic roster.
Three years and $21 million is fair for Redick, but a bit on the pricey side. It could be worth just enough to deter the Magic from matching, especially considering their already substantial payroll. Orlando has $81 million on the books already for next season without Chris Duhon, uncommitted free agent Matt Barnes, or Redick’s pay raise on the books. This offer leaves just enough intrigue to keep listening; it’s seemingly well within market value for a player of Redick’s caliber, yet just high enough for the Magic to consider saying goodbye.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.
CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.
“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”
Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.
“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”
The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.
Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.