Cam Reddish was one of three heralded freshmen that arrived on the Duke University campus for the 2018-19 season. The other two were Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett. All three declared for the 2019 NBA draft. In his third season in the NBA, the forgotten Reddish appears to be finally making a name for himself.
On the low, Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards says Reddish gives him fits like no other player. That’s high praise.
Anthony Edwards was asked who’s the hardest player he’s guarded 😂
— Brad Ballislife (@BradBallisLife) December 28, 2021
Throughout their lone college season in Durham, Williamson and Barrett grabbed all the headlines and shined brightest. Zion and RJ were picked first and third in the draft, respectively, with Reddish selected 10th by the Atlanta Hawks.
After a rookie season that was interrupted by the COVID-19 shutdown, and an injury-plagued second season, Reddish is starting to show why he was such a highly rated prep prospect and why the Hawks selected him 10th overall.
Monday night, Dec. 27, in a loss to the Chicago Bulls Reddish scored 33 points, shooting 11-for-23 from the field, including 8 of 13 from three.
At 6 feet 8 with a 7-foot wingspan, Reddish has the size needed to be a wing in today’s NBA. He has the athleticism to guard multiple positions, and he can create just about any shot he wants. The challenge for Reddish, like many young players is consistency.
Over his past 10 games Reddish is second on the Hawks in scoring behind Trae Young and shooting 44 percent on threes at over eight attempts per game. For the season he is eFG% is 51 and TS% is 56, both career highs.
The COVID surge impacting the NBA, and an injury to starting small forward De’andre Hunter has allowed Reddish to see more minutes. When players return from injury and out of protocol, the Hawks will have a decision to make.
After this season Reddish will be eligible for a rookie contract extension. But with Young and Collins already signed to extensions and Hunter’s looming rookie extension, Reddish might be the odd man out.
There is a logjam in the Hawks’ frontcourt with Hunter and Kevin Huerter, and Reddish’s name has been floated around in trade rumors since last season, with the Hawks setting a first-round pick as the starting price.
The ceiling for Reddish is high if he has the right mindset and an environment willing to absorb the mistakes to develop him.
“They always say he’s the most talented player on their roster, it’s just that he doesn’t always put it together,” one NBA executive told HoopsHype. “I’m not sure if he ever will. I like him. I think if he gets in the right situation, he could turn out to be a starting-level player because he can defend multiple positions and he can create any shot he wants. It’s just a matter of his mental approach and getting to the right situation where they know how to get the most out of him.”
That might not be in Atlanta.
The Hawks made a surprising run to the Eastern Conference Finals last season and might look to accelerate their timeline as a title contender.
At just 22 years with old and only 113 games under his belt, it’s way too soon to move on from Reddish. But that’s the reality of the NBA.
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