Cam Reddish is going to be a star and the golden years of Hawks basketball have arrived

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I’ve been attempting to speak it into existence ever since it was announced that Cam Reddish was cleared to play before the Eastern Conference Finals.

“Where were you for the Came Reddish game?” I would constantly say on Twitter, hoping — like all Hawks fans — that he would be the magical puzzle piece to put the Hawks over the top without De’Andre Hunter and with a hobbled Bogi. And yesterday… it almost happened.

Reddish was marvelous, and not just defensively. He was hitting shots, making six of his seven threes, and nearly brought the Hawks all the way back in the fourth quarter from what seemed to be an insurmountable deficit. He finished with 21 points to go along with three assists and was the only Hawks player to have a positive plus/minus (+4).

After the game, there was no shortage of praise for the 21-year-old. Nate McMillan even compared him to Paul George.

And McMillan would know; he coached George while he was in Indiana from 2013-2016.

Reddish has a cult following in Atlanta. I’ve never seen a player with such poor shooting stats through two years in the league have so much support from a fan base. And don’t get me wrong, I’m the leader of this cult following.

Ever since he was in high school, I’ve thought Reddish was going to be a star, and his up and down first couple of seasons in the league weren’t going to change my mind. He simply has things you can’t teach — 6’8″ (he might be taller than that now) with a wingspan over seven feet and the ability to score at all three levels on top of being a tenacious defender. It may not be true now, but eventually, Reddish is going to take the league by storm, and other NBA players are well aware.

The Reddish storyline in year three is just another reason Hawks fans will be counting down the days until next season. If you remember, there was quite the story regarding his relationship — or lack of one — with Lloyd Pierce. Pierce was reportedly making an example out of Reddish in practices, basically bullying the second-year wing. I highly doubt Pierce meant any harm, but Reddish clearly wasn’t reacting the right way to his coaching techniques. There’s hope McMillan can help Reddish reach his full potential, and their relationship seems to be in a much better place after one year together.

Yesterday was undoubtedly bittersweet. On the one hand, it hurt to watch the Hawks get eliminated on their home floor with Trae Young looking like a shell of himself. But on the other hand, I think it finally hit all of us just how much this team accomplished so early in their careers. What I’ve seen from the Hawks fan base over the course of this run is unlike anything I’ve witnessed regarding basketball in Atlanta. Getting a chance to cover it and talk about it daily has been one of the best experiences since I started this site back in 2015. And the reason for that, I believe, is because I think we are all well aware that we are witnessing the start of something special.

Trae Young is a bonafide superstar. De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish are a wing combo with limitless potential. John Collins, assuming he returns, is still only 23-years-old and continues to improve every season. We watched Kevin Huerter come into his own during the playoffs, and Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic are the icing on the cake with their scoring punch and veteran presences. This team will compete for championships for the next decade, and they have the perfect man in Nate McMillan to lead the way.

Welcome to the golden era of Hawks basketball.

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