The New York Knicks acquired forward Cam Reddish from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Kevin Knox and a 2022 first-round draft pick via the Charlotte Hornets. The Knicks also received Solomon Hill and a 2025 second-round pick via Brooklyn.
The addition of Reddish unites him with his college teammate RJ Barrett. Two-thirds of the famed Duke Blue Devils trio, which includes Zion Williamson.
The Knicks have been looking for a wing scorer to pair with Julius Randle and Barrett and with the surplus of young wings in Atlanta, Reddish was available.
Naturally the acquisition of Reddish has Knicks fans thinking about a potential move to bring Williamson to the Big Apple. Especially since Williamson has expressed a love for playing at Madison Square Garden.
Last season after a game in which he scored 34 points in a loss against the Knicks, Williamson couldn’t help but share his thoughts on the world’s most famous arena.
“New York is the mecca of basketball. I love playing here. I played here in college [at Duke]. This is my first time playing in the pros,” Williamson said. “This atmosphere, whether they’re cheering for you or booing you, it’s amazing. Outside of New Orleans, obviously, this might be my favorite place to play. I can’t lie to you.”
Zion Williamson when asked about playing in MSG & NY;
"I think outside of New Orleans, it's my favorite place to play basketball" 👀 pic.twitter.com/4iLc8Mt8gZ
— TheBenchWarmer🏀 (@BenchWarmerPost) April 18, 2021
Williamson is a restricted free agent in 2023. Now, it is highly unlikely he makes it to restricted free agency as the Pelicans will undoubtedly put the rookie max extension on the table as soon as he’s eligible this summer.
Whether or not he accepts it is a different story, although no player has ever turned down that type of money. Williamson’s deal will be worth somewhere north of $200 million.
But given Williamson’s strange injury management this season, the fact that he’s rehabbing away from the team, the way he’s changed agents, and the rumors of a fractured relationship between his camp and the Pelicans have people wondering.
Could he become the first player to turn down the rookie max extension? Could he force his way out of New Orleans? All that is a long way away.
For now, the Knicks have Reddish and Barrett as a young core. Add in Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley, and Quentin Grimes and you’ve got something going. Of course there is Randle to consider. But he’s under contract and could potentially be moved.
Should Knicks fans allow themselves to get excited over a possible Williamson acquisition? That’s part of fandom, right? If that’s what Knicks fans want, let them indulge.
Right now developing Reddish and Barrett will be the Knicks’ focus. Reddish was the 10th pick in the 2019 draft. He has averaged career highs in points, field goal percentage, and free throw percentage this season. He is also shooting 38 percent from three.
Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau should be able to carve out plenty of minutes for Reddish and eventually have him closing games with Barrett.
Duke University men’s basketball players refer to their select group as “The Brotherhood.” The Knicks now have two-thirds of a famous trio from that select group. Will they add the third member?
We’ll have to wait and see.
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