If Cam Reddish had played up to his potential in his first two-plus seasons in the NBA, the Hawks likely would not have made him available for the Knicks’ taking.
But despite some flaws in Reddish’s game and an Achilles injury that set him back last year, scouts believe he still has the upside, ideal size for a wing and time to make an impact with the Knicks.
“Most of the time, you say hey, when a guy’s been in the league about three years, maximum four years, he is what he is,” former 76ers scout Michael Vandegarde said in a phone interview. “But on the flip side, he still is 22 and he missed a significant chunk of time over his first three years. So you could look at it as a glass half-empty, glass half-full.
“A three-and-D guy, there’s massive upside to that for Cam Reddish and maybe he can be more. Maybe he can be a guy that finds a little more offense in his game. He definitely has the skill set to have more offense in his game.”
Considering what the Knicks gave up for Reddish — Kevin Knox and a protected first-round pick via Charlotte — Vandegarde believes it was a deal worth making despite describing the former Duke star as “still an unknown.”
Reddish is shooting career-highs of 37.9 percent from deep and 90 percent from the free-throw line this season — the two most important numbers when determining whether a player can shoot, Vandegarde said. But Reddish was also shooting just 42.1 percent on 2-point field goals — which if he had played enough minutes to qualify for league leaders, would be tied for the second-worst mark in the NBA.
“He has real questionable ability to make shots where he’s pulling up off the dribble, where he’s maneuvering through traffic,” Vandegarde said. “But he’s not even 22 yet and he’s got the size [6-foot-8] and length [7-foot-1 wingspan] you covet.”
Reddish was fighting for minutes with the Hawks (averaging 23.4 per game this season), but another scout believes he could emerge in a bigger role with the Knicks.
“He’s an ascending offensive player and can defend multiple positions,’’ an Eastern Conference scout said. “He’s just 22 and the Knicks don’t have a big wing that talented on the roster. Cam hopefully will get a fair shot at this and make the most of it.’’
How much Reddish plays will likely depend on how he defends, especially under coach Tom Thibodeau.
“I think Thibs will do wonders for him in terms of intensity and defense,” Vandegarde said. “I would think he’s got a chance to be a really good defender and I think you’re going to find out real quickly what Thibs feels about him.”
— Additional reporting by Marc Berman