Despite building a cult following among Atlanta fans, the Hawks obliged Reddish’s wishes and traded him to the New York Knicks for Kevin Knox and a first-round pick. The move perplexed many; even though Reddish had struggled throughout the early stages of his career, most believed in his high upside. Perhaps one day, he reaches that ceiling, but as I’ve said profusely over the last couple of weeks, he’s still a long way away.
It didn’t happen with the Hawks, and it might not happen with the Knicks either. Reddish was inactive for five games following the trade while dealing with an ankle injury. He made his long-awaited New York debut last night but played only five minutes. Even more discouraging for fans of Reddish and the Knicks were Tom Thibodeau’s comments after the game.
The one thing is just trying to establish a routine. When we were playing well, we pretty much had a nine-man rotation. But when I have opportunities to get him in, I want to get him in. And it was good just to let him get his feet wet a little bit. He’s working really well in practice. You never know in this league, you can have an injury and the next thing you’re in there. I look at a guy like Quentin. He benefited from everyone being out, got in there played well and he’s still in there.
Reddish wanted out of Atlanta, hoping for a bigger role elsewhere. I was fairly surprised to hear he was the one that requested a trade, which is a testament to his self-awareness, or lack thereof. On any competing team, which is most of the league right now, Reddish is not an NBA starter. He’s a borderline rotation player, and Thibodeau made that clear in his statements last night. Unfortunately for Reddish, he’s not going to be able to force himself out of this situation.