Thursday , Jan , 07 , 2010 Oly Sandor

Cleveland the only contender interested in Milwaukee’s Michael Redd?

Recent reports indicate Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Michael Redd is hoping for a trade to a contender. Of course, this would suit the cost-conscious club, who, after their surprisingly fast start, are slipping out the Eastern Conference playoff race. So the player and team are putting out the feelers. Problem is, dealing Redd and his max contract to a contender – the left-hander is due $17 million this season and can exercise a player’s option for $18 million in 2010-11 – will be easier said than done …

Cleveland the only contender interested in Milwaukee's Michael Redd?This is what’s known as testing the market.

Recent reports indicate Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Michael Redd is hoping for a trade to a contender. Of course, this would suit the cost-conscious club, who, after their surprisingly fast start, are slipping out the Eastern Conference playoff race.

So the player and team are putting out the feelers. Problem is, dealing Redd and his max contract to a contender – the left-hander is due $17 million this season and can exercise a player’s option for $18 million in 2010-11  – will be easier said than done. Much easier.

The first issue is obvious: the cost. Trading for a big ticket contract like Redd’s is always problematic because according to the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement the teams involved must come close to matching salaries.

And small market Milwaukee won’t want a top team’s expensive, long-term problem contracts in exchange for Redd. Instead, they’ll want expiring contracts, but these are more valuable than the first picture of a newly divorced Tiger Woods. Contenders, like all teams, are holding expiring contracts to either maintain fiscal sanity and/or create the flexibility to be a factor in The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010.  

Redd isn’t the player who averaged 25 points per game or donned red, white, and blue for Team USA. And no team, let alone a contender, has much interest in a sharpshooter turned bricklayer, who is often injured and averaging 12 points per game on 35 percent shooting from the floor.

Most contenders already have an established two-guard, so they’d have little or no interest in taking a gamble on Redd resurrecting his career. Consider the Eastern Conference: the Atlanta Hawks have a franchise player in Joe Johnson; the Boston Celtics won an NBA Title with Ray Allen, and the Orlando Magic traded for Vince Carter in the off-season.

It’s also slim pickings in the Western Conference. For instance: no player is bumping Kobe Bryant from the world champion Los Angeles Lakers; the Dallas Mavericks have Josh Howard; the stingy Phoenix  Suns seem set with Jason Richardson, and the San Antonio Spurs, who are well over the luxury tax, are hoping Manu Ginobili has turned the corner after a stretch of injuries.     

This leaves two possibilities: the Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets. The Cavaliers are usually open to wheeling-and-dealing, but starting two-guard Anthony Parker has been a factor in the club’s recent winning streak, so why fix what isn’t broken?

The Nuggets, who are struggling because Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony are injured, would have concerns about adding a max salary and compromising chemistry by acquiring a shooter like Redd. Remember, Anthony excels as the undisputed first option and struggles when he has to share touches with a co-scorer.      

The easy part is over  -Redd and Milwaukee have decided they want to explore parting ways. Now the hard part -finding a team, not just a contender, to take Redd.

Will Cleveland and Denver take the bait and make a push for Redd? Get at us in the comment box below. Follow Oly on HoopsVibe The Blog and Twitter. Photo courtesy of dec2484.