Instead of acquiring Josh Smith from the Hawks, as was widely rumored that they would, the Bucks swung a deal to bring in J.J. Redick from the Magic
On a trade deadline day which did not hold many surprises and/or major deals, one involving the Magic and Bucks probably held the most intrigue.
In a six-player deal, Orlando traded their fan-favorite shooting guard in Redick, whose contract expires after this season, by shipping him up north to Milwaukee along with Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith in exchange for former first-rounder Tobias Harris, Doron Lamb and Beno Udrih.
Milwaukee was one of the NBA teams most linked to all kinds of trade rumors in recent days and weeks, with the player most often popping up in regards to them being Josh Smith of the Hawks, who Atlanta reportedly wanted to desperately trade by the deadline but could not get anything done after not receiving sufficient enough offers from other teams.
With most people thinking that the Bucks would swing a deal for Smith while giving up Monta Ellis, they sort of surprised people around the league by getting Redick and not having to relinquish Ellis. In his stead, they dealt away Harris, Lamb and Udrih, three young players who did not play much of a role on the Bucks this season.
However, when you realize that Milwaukee is barely holding onto the eighth-seed in the East, the deal seems to have more of a purpose.
In trading talented guys who did not crack the lineup much for them to get one (maybe two) rotation players in Redick and Ayon, the Bucks have all but completely shored up their team from the offensive end of the floor, which is guaranteed to warrant enough perimeter attention that the interior should be next-to-wide-open for guys like Larry Sanders, Ilyasova, and even Samuel Dalembert (maybe).
And with a less-than-secure hold on a playoff spot on this moment, a risk like giving up young guys in Harris, Lamb, and Udoh for a more established one in Redick is a necessary one for a team trying to win now and make the playoffs this year — even if Redick leaves this offseason via free agency.
Finally, a team makes a reasoned — and not absurd — trade deadline deal for a good player that can certainly help with winning immediately. Kudos, Milwaukee.