The Knicks have made the first big trade of 2022, acquiring 6-foot-8 wing Cam Reddish from the Hawks for Kevin Knox and a 2022 first-round pick. New York also received Solomon Hill and a 2025 second-round pick in the deal as well.
Here’s a look at a few things to consider in the aftermath of the deal:
In Reddish, New York acquires a 22-year-old with a 7-foot-1 wingspan and the tools to be a strong defender at the NBA level with his 4.0 deflections per 36 minutes, per _analyKnicks on Twitter.
His perimeter shot has improved to 38 percent from beyond the arc this season with a career-high 45 percent on corner threes, per Basketball-Reference.
The concern for Reddish in his first two seasons was shot selection. His effective field goal percentage is below league-average. But there’s no doubt that Reddish has unrealized potential. It will be up to the Knicks and their player development staff to help Reddish realize that potential.
Reddish was playing 23 minutes per game off the bench for the Hawks. Atlanta had a crowded rotation, which is one of the reasons Reddish became available via trade.
It’s fair to assume that the Knicks will increase Reddish’s role moving forward. So, what does that mean for the current rotation? It could impact minutes for starting guards Evan Fournier or RJ Barrett. Barrett, Reddish’s teammate at Duke, has been on a tear lately. So if Tom Thibodeau is choosing between Fournier and Barrett, you’d think that Fournier will be losing some minutes now that Reddish is here.
If Thibodeau brings Reddish off the bench, he could potentially take minutes from Quentin Grimes. All of this is based on the idea that Derrick Rose and Kemba Walker are unavailable. Once Rose and/or Walker return from injury, Thibodeau will have to adjust his lineups further to fit Reddish in.
KNICKS ARE HIGH ON GRIMES
Prior to Thursday’s deal, the Knicks and Hawks had discussed a trade that included Reddish for Grimes and a 2022 first-round pick, per sources familiar with Reddish’s situation.
Atlanta wanted Grimes, the Knicks’ 2022 first-round pick. Some Knicks decision-makers were opposed to dealing Grimes. I don’t know how far those talks advanced, but the Knicks were ultimately opposed to including Grimes in the deal. Grimes has shown in his rookie season that he’s a capable shooter and defender.
Based on the events of the last few days, it’s clear that Grimes has fans in high places within the Knicks organization.
If the Knicks don’t make any more moves and both Walker and Rose return to the lineup, they will have at least 10 players who’ve been in the regular rotation or have been part of the active rotation, per ESPN. That number doesn’t include Reddish, Grimes or Miles McBride.
Given that, it seems like the Knicks will at least explore another trade prior to the Feb. 10 deadline. As SNY reported, there are Knicks decision-makers who view Myles Turner as a trade target. Indiana, per a report from The Athletic, is pivoting to a rebuild.
Even after Thursday’s trade, the Knicks still have enough draft capital to put together a strong offer for Turner. They have all of their future first-round picks and Dallas’ 2023 first-rounder (top 10 protected). They also have the rights to eight additional second-round picks over the next five drafts, though some are heavily protected, per Real GM.
Other players reportedly available via trade are Ben Simmons, Jerami Grant and De’Aaron Fox, as reported by The Athletic. I will always include Jalen Brunson on any speculative list of available players for the Knicks because of his ties to the organization.
So, who would the Knicks include in a trade? I don’t think anyone is untouchable for the right player.
Alec Burks will probably draw interest from other teams. He’s been playing well and has two years remaining on his contract with the final year being a team option.
Mitchell Robinson can be an unrestricted free agent this summer and he’s been playing well of late, too. So, I’d assume that the Knicks would only include Robinson and/or Burks in a trade if it returned a top-end starter.
Reddish is eligible for an extension on his rookie contract this summer. Barrett is as well. Teams who had interest in Reddish expected him to command $18-20 million per year on his next contract, whether it was signed via an extension or via restricted free agency.
Unless they plan to trade Reddish in another deal, you’d think the Knicks would be very open to signing Reddish to a second contract. They also don’t have to extend him this summer. They can evaluate Reddish this season and in 2022-23 and then re-sign him as a restricted free agent.