Atlanta Hawks 2019 Offseason Grades: Drafting Cam Reddish

Cam Reddish #22 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Sean Berry/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cam Reddish #22 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Sean Berry/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Our offseason grades series continues with an analysis of the Atlanta Hawks selection of Cam Reddish at #10 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.

In the weeks leading up to the 2019 NBA Draft, the mock draft landscape was littered with projections of Duke’s Cam Reddish landing with the Atlanta Hawks.

Between the Hawks’ possession of two picks in the mid-lottery range where Reddish was predicted to go, Atlanta’s glaring need for a scoring wing, and the high-upside potential of a former top-3 recruit, the on-paper fit made Reddish seem like a match made in heaven for an Atlanta Hawks team on the upswing.

More from Soaring Down South

However, some pre-draft maneuvering by general manager Travis Schenk threw the probability of Reddish coming to the ATL for a loop. Trading up for the #4 pick to acquire De’Andre Hunter meant sacrificing the #8 selection– and there was far from a guarantee that the silky smooth Blue Devil would fall to the Hawks-owned tenth pick.

Yet, he did. The Hawks came away big winners, getting two elite prospects at the coveted three-and-D position.

What makes the idea of Reddish on the Hawks so tantalizing?

The dude can stroke it.

Yes, he had an up-and-down year shooting the ball last season. A 33.3% clip from beyond the arc is nothing to salivate over. However, scouts remain high on the shooting being the main strength of his game. He’s got great form and touch, and working with a pro staff should help him achieve a level of consistency that was lacking in his lone year of college.

Perhaps more importantly for all the reasons both we at Soaring Down South and those elsewhere have said both before and after he was drafted–he’s a great fit for this Atlanta Hawks team.

First: the less glamorous side of the floor. When he’s dialed in (we’ll get to that later) Reddish can be a menace on the defensive end. Using pro-ready lateral quickness and lightning-fast hands, he showed on film that he can be a terror in the passing lanes, getting deflections and turning steals into transition opportunities.

Offensively, he’s got a great handle. That’s important because besides Trae Young, there isn’t a truly exciting point guard on the roster. Evan Turner is probably the backup one, but even he is a hybrid. Cam will have the opportunity (hopefully) to run the point for the second unit during his rookie season and refine some of the playmaking ability he wasn’t able to showcase as the third option on a talented Duke team.

Additionally, we know this Hawks squad heavily emphasizes the concept of spacing. According to, they ranked third in the league in three-point attempts last season. Between Trae, Kevin Huerter and Reddish, opponents will have to be spread out in order to avoid giving up open looks. That creates driving lanes and opportunities at the rim.

Reddish isn’t perfect. He shies away from contact when going to the basket and has been accused of going incognito during quarters and even entire games. That’s a big reason why he fell to the Hawks at #10. He’s been described as a “boom-or-bust” prospect, the idea being he could turn into Ben McElmore just as easily as Paul George.

To this scribe, that’s a bit dramatic. Reddish carries risk and uncertainty, but there’s a lot more to be excited about than fearful of.

Grade: A-

Others might be way higher on Reddish, and I do truly believe that he will be a great player–but the concerns on motor and consistency aren’t unwarranted.

Next. 11 Can't-Miss Hawks Games in 2019-20. dark

At the end of the day, analyzing draft picks before they even play a minute in their new uniform is a weird business. Yet, with a wide view that takes into account the Atlanta Hawks’ trajectory and timeline, this was a tremendous addition for the Hawks. They get someone with star potential, a guy who at the very least is a great fit for the team and will contribute immediately, for the reasonable price of a mid-to-late lottery selection.