This is the first part in a series of post where we’ll review the 2012-13 NBA season of Duke alumni. First up is my personal favorite: JJ Redick.
Redick had one of the more interesting seasons of the Duke alums. He started out the season in the same spot he had over the entirety of his seven-year career: competing for the role of starting shooting guard for the Orlando Magic. With the Magic virtually gutted, Redick’s role increased, leading to a career high in minutes per game, at 31.5.
Redick wasn’t spectacular, but he proved to be a dependable scorer (15.1ppg) and a solid presence in the rotation, as he put together a 16.1 PER, 22.7 AST%, and 3.2 WS. His biggest weakness was defense, where he tied a career low with just 0.2 DWS, but his consistency on the offensive end (3.0 OWS) turned him into one of the more coveted targets at the trade deadline after the Magic slumped to a miserable 15-39 record.
Redick, in the last season of a 3-year, $19 mil deal, wasn’t considered to be a huge impact on the trade block, but teams looking to add a little more punch on offense were intrigued by the guard. In what would turn out to be the biggest trade to come out of the deadline, Redick found himself heading to the Milwaukee Bucks, along with Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith, for Tobias Harris, Beno Udrih, and Doron Lamb. He surely wouldn’t get a chance to start, as the Bucks already boasted the dynamic back-court duo of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, but most figured he’d upgrade their sixth-man spot and give the Bucks a three-point threat that could aid them in a playoff push.
Unfortunately, Redick never seemed to click with the Bucks’ offense, and the guard slumped his way to an 11.9 PER, 52.9 TS%, 14.8 AST%, and .078 WS/48, all lower than the numbers he put up with the talent-depleted Magic. And, while Milwaukee managed to make the playoffs as the eighth seed, Redick saw a drastic decrease in minutes (17.3mpg, compared to the 28.7mpg he received during the regular season) and the Bucks were swept out of the playoffs by the Miami Heat.
The decrease in minutes created controversy, and it will likely result in Redick departing for another destination in the offseason, despite the fact that Milwaukee appears to want to keep him around. Where he will end up, I can’t say for sure. The LA Lakers will need someone to fill the starting role until Kobe Bryant returns from injury, but they really seem to like Jodie Meeks. OJ Mayo appears to be on the way out of Dallas, so Redick could slide in and fill the starting role for the Mavericks. Chicago made a serious run at him during his last free agency period, and they could do it again. This is pretty far off, though, and a lot could change in a couple months.
Looking back on Redick’s 2012-13 season, the word that pops into my head is promise. He showed that, when put in the right situation, he can be a very valuable guard to have around. The presence of Brandon Jennings never allowed Milwaukee to utilize Redick’s skillset to its fullest potential, and he could easily revert back to being the reliable guard he was in Orlando if given a more comfortable role.
If anything, front offices shouldn’t view his time in Milwaukee as the beginning of decline, but as a minor speed bump.
Conclusion: Decent season, but was thrown into an uncomfortable role that didn’t fit his skillset in Milwaukee. Not his fault for shortcomings down the stretch.