In full disclosure, I don’t like this trade.
The reasons for not liking this trade are pretty simple:
1) J.J. Redick is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. He could walk and the Bucks would get nothing in return for him.
2) I fully believe that Tobias Harris is an above-average starting forward waiting to blossom, a player in the mold of Marques Johnson.
That being said, the trade should make the Bucks a lot better this season. Prior to the trade, the Bucks only had three usuable guards on the roster and all three were combo guards better suited to having the ball in their own hands.
This season, Beno Udrih, Monta Ellis, and even Doron Lamb have been poor three-point shooters. It takes the “shooting” out of “shooting guard” when your trio of 2-guards combines to hit 59 of 249 three-pointers on the season (23.7%).
Last night, trailing by three points with a few seconds left, the Bucks needed a three-pointer at the end of the game. Brooklyn bodied up with Jennings, Dunleavy, and Ilyasova. The ball was inbounded to Ellis, the Buck who – to no one’s great surprise – was not the focus of the defense. He chucked up an awful turnaround three-pointer, was bailed out by the referees, and then proceeded to miss all three free throws.
Does he even get on the floor there if Jim Boylan can roll with a Brandon Jennings/J.J. Redick/Mike Dunleavy/Ersan Ilysaova/Larry Sanders lineup in late game situations?
I love this lineup combination. As Dan Sinclair points out, it’s an awful lot like the Orlando Magic team that made it to the Finals a few years back. Without Ellis and Mbah a Moute clogging the floor to get the only shots they can make – those close to the rim – the spacing should be incredible. Dunleavy and Redick both know how to get open on the curl screens that the Bucks run with guys like Ekpe Udoh, Sanders, and Ilyasova setting the picks.
So while I hate to see the Bucks mortgaging their future to solidify an 8-seed, the trade really does make them a much better team in the short run.
The only question now is: How do we get Monta to accept a role coming off the bench?