The Orlando Magic are in phase two of the rebuilding process. Whether they do anything in this stage we’ll know in the next 24 hours. Clearly the main focus is on what to do with JJ Redick.
Redick is in the final year of a 3-year deal that is paying him a little over $6 million this season. If the Magic don’t trade him, they run the risk of losing Redick for nothing in free agency. I’ve been told they’d like to keep him, but at the right price. If the Magic can keep him at a salary around $8 million annually, it would make a lot of sense for them to hang onto him. If that annual price goes above $10 million, the Magic should let him walk.
I wouldn’t trade Redick for anything less than a future first round pick and depending on the team, possibly a first or second year player in return as well. A 2nd round pick is not enough. If the Magic can’t squeeze that out of a team, then they aren’t really turning him into the asset he should be. And if they can’t do that, then they should try to keep him.
Redick has become arguably the most popular player on a bad team. For many Magic fans, he is the only reason to buy a ticket or watch on TV. There is a real value to that. Redick helps you on the floor and in the stands. That is a commodity.
Plus, JJ Redick strikes me as someone who may want to stay in Orlando for his entire career. Someone that may take a hometown discount to stay in a place where he and his family are happy.
Orlando has been understanding with this rebuilding process, but the team still needs to give the fans a reason to watch and care. With potentially another one or two long years on the horizon, the Magic need to be mindful that while building toward a title is the most important goal, not losing your fan-base in the process is also vital.
Trading Redick or letting him walk can be justified, but they better be prepared to explain why.