With 15 hours remaining before the NBA trade deadline at 3 p.m. Thursday, J.J. Redick said he still has no idea whether or not the Orlando Magic will send him to another team.
And it also sounds like he wouldn’t be heartbroken if the Magic send him to a title contender.
Asked specifically if he wants to remain with the team through the end of the season, he sighed and said,
“There’s just too many variables to say that. There’s just too many variables. The shortest way to answer that is I wouldn’t be disappointed if I end up going to a team that is playing for a championship if that were to happen. Look, if any player is in this situation and they’re on a team that’s one of the five or six teams in the league that have one of the worst records and they go to a contender, it’s not a bad thing.
“If I were to stay here, though, it’d be great.”
Would he consider re-signing long-term with the Magic, who are clearly in a rebuilding period and have now lost 26 of their last 29 games?
“I haven’t thought about the long-term, to be honest with you,” he said. “This whole season has been about trying to get better as a player and trying to put myself in a position for the deadline to be healthy and to be playing well, to be helping my team. And if I come back, I come back. If I get traded, I get traded. I’ll be the same guy. I’ll worry about the long-term after the season.”
He said he and the Magic have not discussed whether he wants to stay in Orlando after this season.
“There’s been no commitment either way from them or from me,” he said. “I think both sides are open to the idea. But, again, it’s out of my control. That’s a question more suited to them. They’ll have to make a decision in July.”
Magic officials are not commenting about their plans.
The uncertainty about Redick’s long-term future is one reason why the Magic might not want to keep him beyond the deadline. Why risk not getting assets in return for a player who could go elsewhere if he gets a better offer in free agency?
It’s also one reason why teams might not be willing to give away attractive assets for Redick.
Why would a prospective trade partner give away, say, a first-round pick or a young player with upside for someone who might be a three-month rental?
Redick took issue with a Yahoo! Sports report that said his agent, Arn Tellem, would seek to secure a $10 million annual salary when Redick becomes an unrestricted free agent in July.
But Redick also acknowledged that for him, the 15-month-old collective bargaining agreement will make it difficult for him and others on the free-agent market.
The luxury tax penalties that soon will go into effect already are making teams skittish about devoting substantial salaries to non-superstars.
Redick would welcome trade to contender or finishing season with Orlando
Orlando Sentinel | Feb 21