J.J. Redick vs. a mid-first round draft pick: Who is more valuable?
Scuttlebutt scuttlebutt scuttlebutt. That’s all there’s been over the past 72 hours and that’s all there will be until 2PM tomorrow. The Milwaukee Bucks are in the middle of many of these rumors, and one that was offered up yesterday by Ken Berger of CBS was with Orlando for J.J. Redick. The trade would send Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and this year’s first round pick to Orlando for the sharp shooter.
Many people on Twitter scoffed at the notion of the Bucks trading their first round pick. I agree that it would be a poor decision for a team that isn’t close to contending for a title. But with the Bucks on the fringe of the playoffs, the pick would be in the 14-17 range. I wondered what kind of players have been picked in those spots over the last 10 years. Here’s what I found:
- Sixteen of the forty picks (or 40 percent) are no longer in the league.
- Twelve (30 percent) are starters.
- Only three (7.5 percent) have made an All-Star team.
So, over the span of ten years, a pick in this range has a higher chance of not being on a roster than being a starter.
Redick vs. The Pick
When looking at the statistics, I decided to just look at the players current averages for 2012-13 season. Looking at career numbers was too messy and not a good representation of what the player has become. For the injured Danny Granger, I used his averages from last season.
The players still on a roster average, collectively, 9.7 PPG/4.85 RPG/1.74 APG in 24 minutes at 44.4 percent shooting. Redick this season is averaging 15.3 PPG/2.4 RPG/4.4 APG in 31 minutes at 45.9 percent shooting. He’s better in every category except rebounds.
This makes sense. Redick was drafted with the 11th pick and it’s his 6th year in the league. He should have better numbers than a collective of mid-round picks. But I’d argue that Redick is a better player than all but six players on that chart.
However, none of this takes into account contracts. Redick is in the last year of his current deal and will be seeking something close to or above the mid-level exception this summer (around $5mil per year). Add in the “having to play in Milwaukee” tax and we could be looking at 4 years/$28 million for Redick. Not horrible, but much more than it would cost to have another player on rookie salary for four years (around $1.2-1.5 million a year).
A poster on the great Milwaukee Bucks RealGM forum described a mid-round first as being like a new car. Everyone wants one, but once it’s used it loses most of its value. I like that analogy.
The Bucks in the end should keep the pick because the position they’re in requires them to scout well, take risks and have players on rookie contracts. But if the team’s goal is to win now, then J.J. Redick is good value for the pick.