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.