by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

JJ Redick has wanted to be the Orlando Magic’s starting shooting guard for quite some time now, and though he has yet to earn the spot, the day may not be too far off.

Reading the tea leaves a little bit, based on what the Magic did in last week’s NBA Draft, the Orlando Sentinel is beginning to think that Redick may be a starter next season, with Jason Richardson likely playing for a different team:

J.J. Redick and his adoring fans finally might get their wish. The Magic reached deep into Thursday night’s NBA Draft to pick a two-guard who’s a stellar defensive specialist. Hmmmm. The addition of second-rounder DeAndre Liggins could signal that the Magic have decided to make J.J. the starting shooting guard next season.

It also obviously would mean that the club realizes it can’t afford to bring back last season’s starter, Jason Richardson. J-Rich is arguably the top free-agent shooting guard available this summer (or whenever the league reopens for business after a forecasted lockout ends.) With Liggins and veteran Quentin Richardson, the Magic’s concerns about Redick’s defense in certain matchups might be alleviated. GM Otis Smith said he believes Redick is ready to be a starter — and the Bulls felt the same way last summer when they signed J.J. to an offer sheet.

The Magic have no choice but to have a different-looking roster next season; Dwight Howard and his very public demands have made sure of that.

Is JJ Redick the answer? Can he help ensure that Dwight sticks around town for a few more years? You’ll have to excuse Magic fans for feeling more than a tad nervous.