Milwaukee Bucks guard Michael Redd will undergo surgery tomorrow to repair a torn ACL in his left knee. This will be the second time in two years that Redd has undergone major surgery on his left knee. Because of injuries, Redd has only appeared in 51 games over the last two seasons. He was never close to 100% when he did appear for the Bucks this season, shooting 35.2% from the field and 30.0% from beyond the arc.
A sweet-shooting lefty with a distinctive slingshot stroke, Redd is only a few seasons removed from being one of the league’s best pure scorers. Unfortunately for Redd, his injuries have put him on the sidelines as the Bucks are starting to experience success. The Bucks would make the playoffs if the season ended today, and they have a young core in Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut. They also appear to have a sense of purpose this year, filling out the roster with solid role players like defensive dynamo Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. Under Scott Skiles, the team looks to have a bright future.
Redd would also have fit in well with the current Bucks, who are thin at shooting guard and could use an outside threat to keep teams from loading up on the Jennings/Bogut screen-and-roll. Redd’s greatest weakness has always been his defense, but Mbah a Moute would allow Skiles to “hide” Redd very effectively on that end.
Redd will almost certainly not exercise the early termination option on his $91 million dollar contract, and is owed $18.3 million dollars next year. If he can get healthy, there’s a lot the second-round success story could still provide to the Bucks besides an expiring contract.
One final thing to remember: Redd, along with Larry Hughes and Bobby Simmons, was one of the big free agents of 2005. None of them are or were legitimate franchise players (Redd was close, but not quite), but were given big money because teams got tunnel vision during free agency time. Given how all of those players have struggled with their play or injuries, teams determined to burn their cap room this summer may want to make sure they know the risks of a big free agency signing.