Apparently, Knicks forward Cam Reddish grew tired of being trade fodder for Leon Rose and, according to a source, has requested a trade off the New York Knicks.
Or did he? Reddish himself quickly rejected the assumption he wanted out on a Happy Birthday post made by the Knicks on social media.
But if Cam does want out, who can blame him? Since arriving to the Knicks last season for 2018 lottery pick Kevin Knox and a conditional first-round pick from Charlotte, Reddish was regulated to the bench, going from a 23 MPG average with the Hawks to a career-low 14 MPG with the Knicks.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau never seemed to buy into Reddish as a rotation player, opting instead for Quentin Grimes and Evan Fournier at the small forward position. Since entering the league as the 10th pick in the 2018 Draft, Reddish has always been seen as full of potential, but lacking in actualized metrics. Before joining New York, he’s hovered around 11 PPG over four seasons with the Hawks.
At 6’8”, 218 pounds, Reddish is an athletic, super-skilled offensive weapon who can score on all three levels...at least in theory. That being said, he has never asserted himself as a primary weapon or shown a willingness to defend at a level deserving of a starting spot. With the Hawks and Knicks, he often faded into the background on the court, deferring to teammates while getting beat on defensive assignments. That kind of effort is why he has struggled to find a role on a team and is headed towards his third team in less than a year.
It’s not all his fault, though. Rose brought in Reddish, a player who did not fit Thibodeau’s defensive schemes or game plan. Paired with the failed Kemba Walker experiment, it was the two most glaring examples of the front office and coaching staff not being on the same page. It was reported Thibodeau was against the deal to acquire Reddish from the start.
Grimes seems to be the better fit as the starting small forward, as he showed off an expanded offensive game in Summer League while providing tough-as-nails defense, making for a better fit alongside newly acquired Jalen Brunson in the backcourt. Even if the Knicks end up pulling off a trade for Donovan Mitchell, Grimes should see more minutes off the bench than Reddish, based on his defensive abilities. However, this would certainly change if Grimes is included in the Mitchell deal.
From the moment the off-season started, Reddish was involved in trade rumors. The first was a proposed deal that would have sent him to the Los Angles Lakers in a draft-day trade that fell apart when Rose wanted to unload Alec Burks while asking for more picks from the Lakers. The talks with Mitchell could be expanded to include a third team, most likely the Lakers, where Reddish could be rerouted. as he does not fit the stripped-down roster Ainge is enacting. Reddish’s agent is Rich Paul of Klutch Group and agent to LeBron James and Anthony Davis of the Lakers, so a deal to L.A. makes sense.
Since the Jazz made Mitchel available, he has been consistently mentioned in various iterations of Mitchell-to-New York trade proposals, showing how expendable Knicks beat writers and fans see him as. Whatever team opens training camp with Reddish on the roster will need to see a fire from the young forward for the perception around him to be changed. There is no disputing Reddish's raw and refined talent, but the drive to get better has kept him on the outside looking in since he was drafted.