When the Knicks acquired forward Cam Reddish last January along with forward Solomon Hill and a 2025 second-round pick from the Atlanta Hawks for forward Kevin Knox and a 2022 first round pick, upon his arrival, Reddish expressed supreme optimism.
“I think I can be a legit star here,” said Reddish, who was the 10th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft out of Duke. He was the third Duke player taken in 2019, joining Zion Williamson (No. 1 overall) and reuniting with Knicks swingman RJ Barrett (No. 3). All entered the draft after their freshman college season. Prior to entering Duke, some draft analysts projected Reddish as the top pick in 2019.
He unquestionably is uber-talented. At 6-foot-8, the Norristown, Pennsylvania native has the length, athleticism and shooting ability to be an impactful player on both ends of the floor. The warranted criticism of Reddish is that he has been inconsistent and injury prone. He played just 58 games in his rookie season due to injury, 26 in the shortened 2020-21 71-game regular season, and 49 last season.
Reddish waited for five games after the trade before making his Knicks debut. Head coach Tom Thibodeau elected to go with a nine-man rotation that included then-rookie Quentin Grimes. Gradually Reddish carved a place in the rotation and made encouraging strides before injuring his right shoulder on March 7 versus the Sacramento Kings attempting to block guard Davion Mitchell’s layup attempt. Reddish’s injury ultimately sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
This season has been one in which all of Reddish’s skills and flaws have been on display. In the regular season opener on Oct. 19, he logged 28 minutes and scored 22 points in a gripping 115-112 overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Reddish didn’t reach double figures again until scoring 11 versus the Philadelphia 76ers on Nov. 4.
This past Sunday, in an alarming 145-135 Knicks loss at Madison Square Garden to the Oklahoma City Thunder, dropping them to 6-7, Reddish scored a team- and season-high 26 points—his career high is 34 versus the Orlando Magic last December—and was one of the few Knicks who played respectable defense.
Heading into Tuesday night’s game versus the Utah Jazz that began a five-game, Western Conference road trip for the Knicks, Reddish had played in all 13 games with five starts. He was averaging 8.3 points in 21.6 minutes and had strong shooting percentages of 44.1 overall and 86.7 from the foul line. However, his 3-point shooting percentage was 33, below the league average of 35.
This is a pivotal year for Reddish. He is in the final year of his rookie deal. Reddish can show the Knicks and the rest of the league he’s on the cusp of being a dynamic, rotation player or a tantalizing wing with a lot of question marks behind his name.