Would Cam Reddish be a Good Option for Sacramento?

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 28: Cam Reddish #0 of the New York Knicks looks on during the second half of the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum on October 28, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

After not giving him a contract extension ahead of the season, the New York Knicks have always been thought to be looking to move Cam Reddish. 

Just this week, Marc Stein reported that trade discussions revolving around Reddish are beginning to rev up. Indicating the urgency with which the Knicks want to get a deal done, Stein also noted that New York is seeking second round draft compensation in return.

Marc Stein’s reporting can be spotty like any weather report, but Reddish is more than available and with the deadline coming in hot, talks must in turn be heating up.

A former lottery pick of the Atlanta Hawks in 2019, Reddish has not seen the floor for coach Tom Thibodeau since the first week of December, stuck on the bench even as injuries arose. He’s played just 20 games in 2022-23, averaging 8.4 points on 44.9% shooting.

With a deal set to materialize sooner than later, could the Kings consider pursuing Cam Reddish?

In short, yes, they could, but Stein noted just the Mavericks, Bucks, and Lakers as possible suitors. And similar to the matter surrounding Charlotte’s Jalen McDaniels, while Reddish would be a useful fit with the team, his expiring contractural status among other things, likely hinders the overall compatibility.

But nevertheless, he’s probably still worth an assessment at least.

First of all, given Reddish’s skillset and abilities, he could be a commodity for Mike Brown.

At 6’8″ with a long 7’1″ wingspan, Reddish has a solid baseline of defensive ability on the wing. Though it’s fair to say he has yet to hit any perceived ceiling on that end of the floor, he’s got athleticism, energy, and good hands. Though, as one can probably tell, his defense is not there all of the time; sometimes he’ll fail to get in the right position at the right time or make a lazy swipe that wind up as fouls, and off-ball defense and not fouling are big priorities for Brown.

Offensively, he’s more of a headache. Since college, Reddish has been massively inconsistent. He’s always had moments where he looks remarkably talented on the offensive end, but he never sustains that level of execution. He’ll play two or three great games and follow it up with five or six poor performances. 

Such was the case this season. He had a poor preseason, raising questions about his fit, but then he had a great opening night with renewed hope brewing. That of course fell through. And from Duke to the Atlanta Hawks, he’s never lived up to his potential coming out of high school when he was the number-one ranked small forward.

Reddish has moments where he gets to the rim, but as a below-average finisher, he is not guaranteed to execute and often fails to make the right play. And he’ll often dribble into no man’s land and wind up with a turnover.

There is hope in leaning on him in some sort of 3-and-D capacity. Similar to guys like KZ Okpala (45.5% on wide open three’s this season at 0.4 attempts per game) and McDaniels (40% on wide open three’s at 2.0 attempts per game), Reddish can hit open three’s despite being far from a sharpshooter. Last season, he shot 42.9% on 1.4 wide open three-point attempts per game. 

Reddish was off to a great shooting start in general a few months back. In his initial 10 appearances this season, he shot 40.7% from deep, but that percentage did fold in half as he shot 20.7% in the following 10 before making a home on Thibodeau’s bench.

Second, he’d be an NBA option for a team that has been searching for a reliable backup to Harrison Barnes since Sacramento acquired him in 2019 from Dallas. Barnes’ only adequate backup was probably Kent Bazemore for half a season, the same guy that was cut in this year’s training camp.

But then again, would he be a backup worth pursuing?

There is nothing about Cam Reddish that tells the Kings—or any NBA team—that they just have to get him. The four-year man out of Duke has appeal to teams like the Lakers, who, as everyone knows, started the season with a hole-ridden roster and thus have been on a perpetual hunt for help as LeBron is essentially left alone. On the other hand, it’s not exactly clear why Reddish would be a priority to Milwaukee unless they see little else in the way of options at the wing. And as for Dallas, much of Stein’s reporting on the Mavericks’ connection noted Thibodeau’s specific desire to reacquire Reggie Bullock.

And to top it off, Reddish, as alluded to, has an expiring contract at the end of this season. General manager Monte McNair wants a solid core around a certain age group and wants to have the flexibility to maintain it. If the Kings trade for Reddish, they’d sort of be saying they believe he can come make an impact, which would probably earn him a contract this upcoming offseason that Sacramento may not want to fulfill for a role player.

Then there’s also the question of whether he can come make an impact on Mike Brown’s bench. And that is far from clear.

So while Cam Reddish is essentially low-hanging fruit on the market and could potentially fit in, it’s unlikely the Kings are all that interested in him.

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[…] for backup wing options—though guys like Charlotte’s Jalen McDaniels and New York’s Cam Reddish have come up here and there—fans should keep in mind that the sights on Thybulle are not unique […]

Dan Smith
Dan Smith
4 months ago

Good accurate assessment of Cam. Really talented dude, but seems like one of those players that may never put it together. I think I’d rather keep developing KZ, TD or Dozier for this year…see which one of those guys can be a reliable bench wing. Reddish’s game really just seems like he’s a taller Davis anyway.