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.

Categories: Draft Talk,Trade Rumors

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  1. WHO cares about the draft pick reddick isnt even worth bah a moute, milwaukee with these personel moves theyll never make the playoffs

  2. Great article and I agree with the conclusion and hope that the Bucks start building toward the future instead of trying so hard to ‘win now’.

  3. In the argument of proven commodity vs. potential you always take proven commodity, but right now the Bucks are heavy on potential that most of us fans want to see develop(e.g. Larry Sanders)

    And of course if these trades come to fruition and we play the way those pieces are capable of playing then that pick becomes infinitely less valuable anyways

  4. I know I’m vulnerable to the bias of valuing our own players highly, but LRMAM is a valuable rotation player. I feel like even on a contender he’d get 15-20 minutes a game (and that a lot of contenders have defensive aces as supporting pieces).

    Giving up him AND a pick for Redick seems like a pretty poor deal.

  5. “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).”

    Yes, but that is misleading. Larry is producing this year, but has been paid the last three or $5.6 M
    If Harris gives us valuable play next season, he will have been paid $4.5M for three years.
    Henson, if he is major contributor next year will have been paid $3.7M for two years.
    Then all these contracts double so they will be making $3M -$4M +
    So although they are inexpensive, there is also the risk that Bucks may never get that player with the same “worth” as Redick at $7M and if/when they do, we just hope the Bucks can hang on to these assets that they have invested years in to their development. (Bogut, Jennings)

    We NEED these draft pick/young players. But when you only get ONE pick per year and in order to develop these young players in the NBA, you also need to look for good players that Bucks can get in a fair trade or free agency. The fair trade is not that either party is going to get a “bargain”, but that we need an efficient scoring guard that is 6’4″ to compliment our other players, while having to give up another valuable piece that will benefit trade partner, while not doing significant damage to Bucks team.

    It’s not “win now”. It’s either you are an NBA team or you are just another extension of the D-League.

  6. I wish there was a way to make Reddick happen WITHOUT losing the pick. Like adding Lamb or Harris…

  7. When making the analysis of whether you want Redick or a 14-17 draft pick, the key question is: when do you want to reap the benefit of your decision? Redick is a proven commodity that would help the team now (and for the next few years, if they were to re-sign him). Not only is a 14-17 draft pick not guaranteed to pan out, but how long will it take him to be a valuable contributor? Most likely not his rookie year: of the guys on this chart only Josh Smith, Danny Granger, Jrue Holliday, Kawhi Leonard, and Iman Shumpert played at least 20 mpg.

    That means more than likely, IF the pick pans out, you still won’t see a return until the 2014-15 season, if not the 2015-16 season. Which might be fine… it just depends on whether you’d rather have a proven commodity now or potential for one a few years from now. Personally, I’d rather have Redick than the average 14-17 pick. That’s contingent on re-signing him, of course. And having to lose LRMAM admittedly complicates it… but obviously Orlando has done this analysis as well, so its not surprising they’d need to get more than just the pick in return for Redick.

    Also, there are 11 years in your chart, which means there are 44 players involved, and your percentages are off. They should be: 36% no longer in the league; 27% are starters; and 6.8% have made an All-Star team. Unless you get rid of the 11th year (2002), then: 30% no longer in the league; 30% starters; 7.5% All-Stars.