On paper, there isn’t an area on the Hawks roster that needs more work than the small forward position. Taurean Prince is only under contract for one more season and does not appear to be in the Hawks long term plans. It is possible the front office finds him a whole new home altogether on draft night because the future at the wing position might come to Atlanta in the form of Cam Reddish.
Fortunately for the Hawks, Reddish could fall to the eighth pick because of his subpar performance as a freshman at Duke. Playing in the shadow of Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett, the 6’8″ winger never found his footing; which caused many to question his competitiveness and toughness. He only shot 35.6% from the field and 33.3% from the three-point line, but when looking beyond the stats, it’s difficult not to fall in love with his style of play, especially when imagining him in a free-flowing, run-n-gun system that the Hawks like to run.
What impresses me the most about Reddish are his handles and pure as the water out of Fiji shooting stroke for a player that has a wingspan of 7’1″. He’s got the type of physical attributes that cannot be taught and might be the most skilled basketball player in the entire class as things stand now. Whether it’s off two dribbles into a midrange jumper, shooting a pull up three in transition, or standing in the corner – Reddish makes every jump shot look smooth as silk. Seriously, look how pure this thing is.
Cam Reddish clearly the most naturally gifted player to take the floor today. Tantalizing at 6-8 with a smooth jumper. Shoots such an easy ball. pic.twitter.com/KD0zBgtJj8
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) May 22, 2019
The net barely moves…
His shooting numbers might not have been exquisite in college, and he will have to work on his shot selection, but Reddish is going to shoot a high percentage on open jumpers – something Trae Young is pretty decent at creating for his teammates. And as Reddish gets more developed at the next level, he will be able to utilize his uncanny length and handles to pick his spot on the floor and surgically attack opponents.
As an athlete, the Duke product may not have the hops as his fellow teammate Zion Williamson, but he can get up there and take it to the rim with authority (as seen in the video). Reddish is also a two-way player that could thrive in the NBA on the defensive side. He averaged 1.6 steals and 0.6 blocks in one year at Duke, but it’s his incredible length on the perimeter that has me salivating about his potential on that side of the ball.
Reddish isn’t an elite passer by any means, but he is a willing one and posesses the basketball IQ to make the right decision when attacking the hoop. There isn’t much this 19-year-old cannot do with the ball in his hands. He would be an ideal fit spotting up next to Trae Young and would eventually become the Hawks go-to scorer in crunch time.
His inefficiency may be something that plagues him down the road, but I’m convinced much of that has to do with him going from the king of the court to third fiddle on a Duke team that did not make a concerted effort to keep him involved. In Atlanta, around a young core of John Collins, Trae Young, and Kevin Huerter – Reddish will thrive. I’m just hoping he will be around when the Hawks select.