Playoff basketball will return to the Bradley Center in Milwaukee for the first time since 2010.
And Mark Cuban can ring Dwight Howard’s doorbell at 9 p.m. Pacific Time on June 30.
If there were two definitive things you could surmise from this year’s trade deadline deals, those were the biggest two.
If you want to make it a threesome, the Celtics did pretty well for themselves, too, by getting Jordan Crawford as the latest backcourt replacement for Rajon Rondo/Leandro Barbosa.
Can you say “I don’t wan’t to finish eighth in the East?”
Well, definitive may be a little strong in the Bucks’ case, given their recent struggles (and Andrew Bynum’s possible impending return), but Milwaukee GM John Hammond pulled off the deal of the day in acquiring J.J. Redick, the veteran sharpshooter from the Orlando Magic, for Doron Lamb, Tobias Harris and Beno Udrih.
That deal came down reportedly after the Atlanta Hawks pulled out of a trade that would have sent impending free agent Josh Smith to the Bucks for Udrih, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Epke Udoh – how’s that for putting your spell-check to work? – and a No. 1 pick.
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Having already made a coaching change this season, the Bucks (26-27) are currently eighth in the East but have lost six of their last seven. They go into the weekend with a 3 1/2-game lead over the 76ers and a five-game lead over the Toronto Raptors. They have already clinched the tiebreaker over Philly (3-0) and have two games remaining against Toronto, which they beat in their first and only meeting.
And if the Bucks can supplant the Celtics (28-26) for seventh – Milwaukee already has won the season series, 3-1 – they would avoid a first-round matchup with the powerhouse Miami Heat.
Redick might just get them there. He’s the best thing to come to town since Schlitz came back under its original formula.
Milwaukee is 21st in 3-point percentage, but Redick has been converting at a 39 percent clip this season while averaging a career-high 15.1 points against defenses that have been keying on him. He is a career 39.8 percent shooter from the arc.
Redick will become a free agent this summer, as will Bucks starting point guard Brandon Jennings (restricted) and starting shooting guard Monta Ellis (if he opts out of the $11 million final season on his contract). Time will tell if Redick is more than a rental. But he is a nice rental.
A breakdown of today’s 12 trades, with some instant analysis:
ANALYSIS: Redick will not experience 70 degree weather again until Bucks are on road in Florida or playing into late May. But he’ll get a playoff share and will have a chance to prove himself worthy of the four-year, $40 million contract he seeks. Which of the ex-Bucks does Rob Hennigan feel is the next Nikola Vucevic? It certainly isn’t Udrih, though he becomes a must-get in fantasy hoops.
SACRAMENTO KINGS trade Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt to HOUSTON ROCKETS for Patrick Patterson, Toney Douglas and Cole Aldrich.
ANALYSIS: Rockets get best player in the deal, unless Robinson is more of a head case than his ex-teammate, DeMarcus Cousins. Has a team ever given up on a No. 5 pick that fast? More on Robinson’s second chance in our latest rookie rankings, published earlier today.
HOUSTON ROCKETS trade Marcus Morris to PHOENIX SUNS for a 2013 second-round pick.
ANALYSIS: Houston’s most experienced power forward is now second-year man Greg Smith. The Morris twins, Marcus and Markieff, become the third set of brothers to be teammates and second with the Suns, who also had Tom and Dick Van Arsdale. Phoenix waived Luke Zeller, whose brother, Cody, will be a high lottery pick this June.
TORONTO RAPTORS trade Hamed Haddadi and a second-round pick to PHOENIX SUNS for Sebastian Telfair.
ANALYSIS: Is Telfair better than John Lucas for the backup minutes behind Kyle Lowry? Maybe. But he’s certainly better than Haddadi, who could not play in Toronto because of visa issues. Question: How is it harder for an Iranian to get a work visa in Canada than the U.S.? Second-round pick is lesser of Suns’ or Raptors’.