Orlando Magic v Indiana Pacers - Game Two

Report: ‘Most teams’ expect J.J. Redick to be traded before the deadline


The Orlando Magic are in a full-fledged rebuilding situation, which doesn’t lend itself to signing veteran role players in free agency during the offseason.

This is just one of the factors that makes it extremely likely that J.J Redick is expected to be dealt before the feb. 21 trade deadline passes.

From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

The Orlando sharpshooter is the player, with [Rudy Gay] off the board, most teams cite when asked to name a player who will definitely be dealt between now and the deadline.

Our old friend Ric Bucher recently reported that the Magic want draft considerations or a quality young player still on his rookie contract if they’re going to part with Redick …

All of this makes perfect sense.

Redick is in the middle of his best statistical year ever, averaging 15.4 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists, while shooting 45.6 percent from the field — numbers which are all career-highs. He also shoots 40.5 percent from three-point distance, while sitting at seventh in attempts for the season.

The only holdup for a team wanting to deal for Redick would likely be the negotiation to determine what his value should be beyond this season. Redick will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, so no one will give up legitimate assets for him unless they can be assured they can retain his services at a reasonable price.

The best fit might be for a team that has championship aspirations to give up a draft pick or a young player buried on its bench. Redick could be merely a rental at that point, with the team potentially benefiting short-term by adding some firepower, and the player getting the opportunity to build his free agent value, while contributing meaningful minutes to a team making a run deep into the playoffs.

LeBron James posts photo with Tristan Thompson, sends message to Cavs

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five
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Tristan Thompson is a man without a contract. By not signing the qualifying offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers he put himself in limbo, the rare NBA holdout. Right now his options are to sign the deal on the table (the Cavs still have the five-year, $80 million offer out there), get the Sixers or Blazers to offer him a max contract (which neither team has shown any interest in doing), or hold out and hope the Cavaliers make a better offer. If he holds out for the entire season he becomes a restricted free agent again next summer — exactly like he is right now.

Without signing the qualifying offer and the threat of leaving, Thompson hurt his leverage.

But he has a little leverage. He and his agent Rich Paul had one other card, and it got played Saturday.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron James and Thompson share an agent in Paul. LeBron has largely remained silent through this process but if he wants something in the Cleveland organization, he usually gets it. And he wants Thompson back at practices.

LeBron’s leverage is going to be put to the test. The Cavaliers have let it leak they are not that concerned about LeBron leaving them next summer over this — and they’re right. The damage to LeBron’s brand if he broke the hearts of Cleveland fans again would be crushing, unless he leaves for a very good reason. Overpaying Thompson is not that reason.

However, LeBron’s comment could push the Cavaliers to try to find a compromise.

For the Cavaliers, a lot of how they view all this comes down to their tax bill. The Cavaliers already have $94.9 million in guaranteed salary on the books, putting them $10.2 million over the luxury tax line, at a cost of more than $16.25 million. What this means if (or when) they sign Thompson is his first $10 million in salary would cost them $28.75 million in tax and every dollar above that for the next $5 million costs them $3.75-to-$1. Look at it this way, by my count $14 million this year to Thompson would cost $43.75 million in tax — the total for Thompson at that price is $58 million. While that’s not all on Thompson it’s a lot of cash, and Thompson wants a max deal that starts at more than $16 million a year.

Owner Dan Gilbert is already going to pay the highest tax bill in the NBA this season, but if he balks at those figures it’s hard to blame him.


Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.