Redick Hopes Magic Playoff Run Leads To Next Contract
Reserve guard J.J. Redick is hoping to do the same now.
Redick, a restricted free agent finishing his fourth NBA season, believes that going deep into the playoffs for the second consecutive year -- and him looking good in the process -- will lead down the same path.
Gortat, as a restricted free agent who looked reasonable good in the playoffs, signed a five-year, $35 million offer sheet with Dallas, but the Magic kept him by matching it.
"As players, you're judged by what you do in the postseason. Anyone can put up numbers on a bad team in the regular season. If I can help this team win a championship, I'll do fine (this summer),'' Redick said Wednesday. "I'd like to think if we win a championship, they'll want to keep this team together.''
Redick, playing behind veteran Vince Carter this season, proved himself as a more-than-reliable backup, shooting 40 percent from 3-point range while averaging 9.6 points in 22 minutes. He has improved immensely since coming into the league as the College Basketball Player of the Year, then struggling early in his career.
"I think about a guy like Trevor Ariza, who played a nice role for the Lakers last year when they won their championship. And he got a good contract,'' Redick said. "All those role players the Bulls had when they were winning championships, they were rewarded. For me, I think everything is dependent on how we finish this year.''
Redick's timing could not be much better. Although Magic president Bob Vander Weide didn't promise he would match any offer Redick receives this summer, he clearly wants Redick back on the team next season.
"I love the kid. He works hard every night. Look at the improvement he has made, getting stronger and more comfortable with the NBA game,'' Vander Weide said. "Do I want keep him? Absolutely. Not only do I like the person, but I like the player he has become.''
At issue is how re-signing Redick this summer may drive the Magic even deeper into luxury tax territory. The Magic this season had a payroll of $81.5 million, approximately $12 million over the luxury tax threshold. Although both the salary cap and luxury tax threshold will drop next season, the Magic payroll is expected to rise, especially if they bring back Redick with a new contract.
"He is going to get money. He's had a good year. We just don't know where the market will take him,'' Vander Weide. "But we're prepared to be in tax again, and prepared to have a very deep roster in order to compete for championships.''
Redick's chances of staying in Orlando, and the Magic's willingness to pay the luxury tax, will be helped by two things: A new arena this fall that will generate an additional $20 million in annual revenue, and the presence of owner Rich DeVos, the family's aging patriarch.
"I'm not going to lie. One thing that motivates us right now, we've got an 83-year-old owner with a lot of health history, so we're going to really push it the next few years. We want to see him with a (championship) trophy in his hands,'' Vander Weide said. "For us to be in tax now is acceptable, and we won't run away from it. At least for the short term, we're going to push it.''