By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Dec 15, 2009 at 5:16 AM

I could never be a general manager of a professional sports team.

All that stuff with salary caps and restricted and unrestricted free agents and franchise tags and all the rest of it makes my head hurt.

But one of the things I do feel capable of doing is figuring out who the best players are on any given team, who is helping and who is hurting efforts to win.

I've watched professional basketball for almost 40 years and have spent countless hours talking with coaches and players. I think I've learned some things in those 40 years.

That's why I'm perfectly comfortable saying that I think it's time that Milwaukee Bucks' General Manager John Hammond find a way to trade Michael Redd. I know that it would be a tough situation to trade Redd, but Hammond gets paid to make tough decisions. And I think the evidence is clear.

Redd, who is in his 10th year, is a great story. Through hard work and dedication he turned himself into one of the best shooting guards in the league. He played on the Olympic team and he's been an All-Star.

In addition, he is a wonderful person, full of charity and community service. His annual events benefit children and families and his commitment to good deeds is genuine and laudatory.

But I don't think Redd brings enough to the current version of the Bucks to warrant keeping him around.

I know he's just coming back off an injury, but the game against Portland last Saturday night was a good example. When crunch time came, Coach Scott Skiles had Redd on the bench and Brandon Jennings and Luke Ridnour on the court. That's because with Redd in the game several things happen to Milwaukee, none of them desirable.

For one, they become a slower team. Redd may have some individual speed, but when he gets the ball in his hands, especially in a set offense, things seem to come to a standstill. Redd has developed what looks like a bullet pass, where he hooks a pass with incredible speed to another player, who is usually standing around wondering what Redd is going to do with the ball. A fast pass does not equal a team with speed.

The second thing that happens to Milwaukee is that they become less of a defensive force. Lots of coaches talk about making defense a priority, but Skiles actually seems to mean it. And with Redd in the lineup there are limits to what the Bucks can do defensively. Simply put, he needs some help on defense. Redd can't be counted on to play the kind of head-up show defense that Skiles' system demands.

Lastly, Redd has some significant value to a number of teams. As long as he gets a clean bill of health his shooting ability will be very attractive trade bait. Teams that feel like they are in the playoff hunt can always find room for a player who can shoot it the way Redd can. Plus, they know that if they acquire Redd there won't be any locker room drama or hard feelings. He's a good guy off the court and he can fit in with anyone.

The Bucks have the beginnings of a good basketball team. Among other qualities, they are establishing themselves as a tough basketball team, as foreign as that sounds in this town. And if tough is one of the words that will be used to describe this team, they can easily afford to trade Redd.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.