J.J. Redick was traded by the Orlando Magic to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday afternoon, just minutes before the NBA’s annual trade deadline expired.
Magic general manager Rob Hennigan informed Redick, who will become a free agent this summer, over the phone just minutes before the NBA’s annual trade deadline expired.
“Rob and the staff had to make decisions about the direction they wanted to go earlier than I had to make that decision,” Redick told the Orlando Sentinel.
Along with Redick, the Magic sent third-string point guard Ish Smith and backup big man Gustavo Ayón to Milwaukee for 20-year-old forward Tobias Harris, 21-year-old rookie shooting guard Doron Lamb and 30-year-old point guard Beno Udrih.
Many Magic fans vented afterward. They expressed anger that the team had traded away its most popular player and received a group of unfamiliar, unheralded players in return.
“I guess my message would be that, first and foremost, I understand the emotional shockwave that you can feel when someone you enjoy rooting for gets traded,” Hennigan told reporters in Orlando.
“I think that’s a natural response. Our job as a management staff is to try to remove that emotion as best we can and focus on decisions that we feel are in the best interests of the organization.”
Redick, a 28-year-old shooting guard, will become an unrestricted free agent in July, and Magic officials were leery of tying up millions of dollars long term on a complementary player such as Redick. Hennigan and his colleagues also feared Redick would sign elsewhere and leave the franchise with no assets in return.
The Magic made a second move Thursday afternoon, sending rarely used power forward Josh McRoberts to the Charlotte Bobcats for 30-year-old power forward Hakim Warrick and cash.
Hennigan said the team will waive Warrick. That move, as well as the trades of Ayón and McRoberts, will carve out more playing time for rookie big men Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O’Quinn.
Al Harrington, a veteran power forward who has missed the entire season following a staph infection, could start playing as early as next week.
And the Magic could use the open roster spot to call up a youngster from the NBA Development League.
Hennigan said the Magic spoke with about a dozen teams in recent days, and he said the team had some chances to receive a late first-round pick. But Harris was the 19th overall pick in 2011, and Magic officials believe Harris and Lamb have upside.
They’re also inexpensive.
Wherever Redick will play next season, it won’t be for Orlando.
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at email@example.com and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times