The best shooter in Duke history, the ACC's all-time leading scorer until the arrival of Tyler Hansbrough, and 2006's the near-unanimous NCAA Player of the Year has also helped his NBA teams to a modest .583 win percentage during the regular season and a whopping .463 in the playoffs since joining the league seven seasons ago.
So, how valuable is J. J. Redick, really? The answer appears to fall along a pretty broad spectrum, at least according to the terms of Wednesday's Clippers-Bucks-Suns trade.
Milwaukee's answer to Redick's worth is two second-round draft picks. The Clippers believe he's worth one second-round pick, Eric Bledsoe, Caron Butler, and $27M over four years. That's a pretty big window, even factoring in Jared Dudley.
It's odd because it's usually the Bulls that do something like this, but is Wednesday's trade just the latest example of Duke potential trumping Duke actuality in the minds of NBA execs? By any measure, the Clippers' assessment of Redick's potential contributions is much higher than the Bucks' assessment of his actual contributions over the final 30 games of last season, which were enough to convince them they were better off without him. (Even if Milwaukee signed this deal through clinched teeth and an enormous grimace, two second-round picks seemed fair enough market value for someone in the front office.)
From LA's standpoint, you can understand the pick-up. If you're looking to clear the lane for Paul and Griffin to go to work, then Redick's shooting will certainly do that. But not only does Redick have limited experience starting at this level, you'd also think most championship contenders would want an off-guard who could complement his shooting with either the ability to play defense or take it to the rack. Preferably both.
I'm just not convinced any team's chances of hoisting the Western Conference trophy with J. J. Redick as their two-guard are much higher than any team's chances of ever making the playoffs with Gerald Henderson as their go-to guy. But the Clippers know better than I do, and perhaps it is, in fact, Redick's time to shine.
Or perhaps he remains on the long list of Duke alums who reached their basketball apex in college, and the Clippers can begin to rival the Bulls in "most assets wasted in pursuit of a Duke guy to help us to the promised land."
Shane Battier (arguably one of the few alumni to have hopped that long list...arguably) probably offered the best characterization of Blue Devil value at the pro level when he noted that it's better to be timely than good.
The Bucks have determined that Redick isn't good enough. I suppose the Clips are making a $27M bet that he'll at least be timely.