Now that the calendar has officially turned to 2013, the countdown to the NBA's most intriguing day can really begin. Yes, we are 51 days away from the NBA trade deadline.
The Magic figure to be active with that $18 million trade exception and an eagerness to collect assets and build for a long-term future. Of course, if the Magic want to get rid of some of those massive contracts -- they are surely interested in moving long-term deals for Hedo Turkoglu, Al Harrington and Glen Davis if possible -- they likely will have to give something up.
The only player that seems to make sense to give up is free agent-to-be J.J. Redick.
Many teams will covet Redick for his shooting ability and he is scoring a career high in points per game and points per 36 minutes. He has shown an improvement in his passing and his work ethic has made an impression on the new management.
That is what Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld reported a few weeks ago and that is what he reiterated when doing a New Years review of potential trade targets:
For his part, he has been on a public campaign saying he and his wife want to stay in Orlando. His family recently brought “Keep JJ” signs to a recent Magic home game.
On the Magic side of things, there was a real sense when the season opened that Redick was not part of the long-term plan and would be a chip the team looked to cash before the trade deadline.
As the Magic enter 2013 the thinking on Redick has changed considerably. That does not mean the Magic won’t deal him. He is arguably their best trade chip. It means Redick isn’t exactly the first players they’d like to move.
Kyler reports the Magic have no "desire" to move Redick now. That could change though as they evaluate what he could get on the open market and determine whether they can keep him. It could also change, Kyler says, if the team gets an offer that helps it out in the long-term by unloading one of the team's unsavory contracts.
That is not the only trade rumors the Magic appear to be pulled into this January.
It seems to be no secret that DeMarcus Cousins wants out of Sacramento and that Sacramento is willing to part with its mercurial center. Cousins' attitude has been a big issue not just this year, when he was suspended for lashing out at coach Keith Smart at halftime.
That settles that.