Just when you assume he is playing in China, Cam Reddish rises again like Jason Vorhees.
Since 2019, Reddish has been most famous for being a flame-out. The third Duke Blue Devil to be selected in the top ten of the 2019 draft began a promising career in Atlanta. He averaged 11 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists over 118 games for the Hawks. Long-armed and rangy, he didn’t play badly for Atlanta in the 2020-21 playoffs, and many New York Knicks fans were intrigued when, in January 2022, the team swapped the also enigmatic Kevin Knox II for him. RJ Barrett seemed especially enthused to be reunited with his college running mate. We all gushed about the untapped potential of the 6’8”, 218 lb wing with the big wingspan. ECF, he we come, or so we thought.
Not quite. Under head coach Tom Thibodeau, however, Cam’s intermittent shooting and defense found no favor. While here, Reddish largely rode the pine, appearing in only 35 games and averaging 7.4 points and 1.5 rebounds.
Much like the aforementioned inhabitant of Crystal Lake campground, you could never count out Cam completely. He made sure to provide the Cam Hive with occasional hope in which to plant their stingers. Here their namesake racks up 26 points against the OKC Thunder:
Ultimately, his career was circling the drain in Manhattan. In February of last year, he shipped off to Portland as part of the four-team trade that brought Josh Hart back to New York. My Trail Blazers-watching friend would text updates that followed a familiar pattern. At first, there were the “Hey, Cam’s not so bad!” texts. Then the “Reddish looks lost out there” messages. Finally, the desperate: “Cam’s gotta go.”
In 20 games in Portland, on a terribly tanking team, Cam managed 11 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. By the campaign’s close, Cam needed a new contract. It seemed fair and reasonable to assume he was boning up on his Mandarin.
Then came news that he had signed a multi-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. And can you believe it? The Pennsylvania product may have finally found a home as a Californian role-player.
In this week’s overtime victory against the L.A. Clippers, Reddish contributed eight points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals, and one block in 37 minutes. (And five fouls because, c’mon, this is Cam Reddish, after all.)
Post game, coach Darvin Ham praised the defensive effort of Reddish. “The only thing he needed is consistent consistency. Just a program that’s going to put their arms around him and encourage him to get better, simplify things and he’ll respond in the right way as he did tonight. He’s been awesome since he’s been a Laker.”
Watch those hands at work!
Cam Reddish’s defense was elite last night pic.twitter.com/vZ8CMALwIK— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) November 2, 2023
So far, Cam has been ready to play in L.A. when injury presents opportunity. Over five contensts, he has logged 17 minutes per game. In the Clippers win, he defended both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, both reportedly good hoopers.
Anthony Davis added nice comments about Reddish, too. “He came out defensively getting steals, great contests even though they’re going to make shots, playing well offensively, attacking the basket. [..] He missed a dunk on Zubac but just the aggressiveness he had tonight is what we’re going to need from him.”
Anyone who has followed Reddish’s career thus far can harbor no illusions. Dreams of All-Star-dom have long since faded. But the 24-year-old is fitting in with the Lakers . . . for now . . . and that’s cool. We wish him well and truly hope that you enjoy the purple and gold, Cam Hivers.
Follow Russell on Twitter at @ruxxdeluxx.