***UPDATE***: I was mistaken about whether or not the Bucks would have to pay Redd if he medically retired and then came back later. They would not owe him anything if that were the case, as his contract would be expired.
As much as his mind has been telling him go for the last few years, his body just won’t seem to cooperate.
Michael Redd will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee. The left knee is the very same knee he suffered the very same injury on last January 24th. This unfortunate turn of events may be the final nail in the coffin of Michael Redd’s sometimes terrific and sometimes turbulent career with the Milwaukee Bucks. It seems almost fitting that an injury, rather than a trade, could be what ultimately keeps Redd from continuing his career on with the Milwaukee Bucks as Redd’s health has escaped him over the past few years. At season’s end, Redd will have missed a total of 152 games over the past four seasons.
Assuming Redd has played his last game as a Milwaukee Buck, the most pressing issue is now what happens with his contract. Assuming Redd misses the rest of this season, he’ll have missed over 41 consecutive games, the waiting period for insurance to cover 80 percent of a players’ contract. So, if I’m not mistaken, insurance will cover 80 percent of the rest of Redd’s owed money this year (that would cover $1,163,707 this season) and 80 percent of it next year for as long as he is out. That money the Bucks save cannot be applied to the roster though. The Bucks wouldn’t suddenly be $15 million dollars under the cap, but they do as an organization save a considerable amount of money if Redd is unable to play again on this contract. For a team that’s had the money issues Milwaukee has had of late, that’s an economic lift.
That would make Redd a “super expiring contract” next year of $18.3 million, with $14.64 million of that being covered by insurance assuming Redd is unable to play. For a similar situation, think Raef Lafrentz (who oddly enough was constantly rumored to be coming to Milwaukee) of last season. A back injury kept him from playing, but didn’t force him into retirement so he just became “Raef Lafrentz’s Expiring Contract”. Whether or not Redd will be healthy at any point next year obviously won’t be solidified until after surgery and rehabilitation start, but for a guy whose torn everything in his left knee in consecutive years, you’d think going slow on his rehab seems likely. Alas, Redd’s contract does not come off the salary cap as long as he remains an active player.
If Redd is seen as medically unable to continue playing basketball as diagnosed by a league-appointed physician, then he would come off the Bucks cap one year from today for next season. If he at any point returns to play ten games in a given season the Bucks would not owe any additional money, as his contract would have expired. Darius Miles is a similar case and Portland had to bring him back on their salary cap because his contract had yet to expire at that point. If Redd did retire and then return, his contract with Milwaukee would have already expired, as he only has one year left. I don’t suspect this injury will force Redd to hang them up, but I do suspect it is the end of him being anything other than a spot minutes player.
For more on how this affects the Bucks current player rotation, check out my post from earlier in the day.