Don’t count out Cam Reddish yet

Cam Reddish Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Cam Reddish Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Being the 10th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Cam Reddish is expected to become a valuable player at some point in his career. Don’t be misled by his slow start.

Heading in to the 2018-19 NCAA Men’s Basketball season, Cam Reddish was regarded by some draft experts as top-three pick material. By the end of his sole collegiate season, Reddish had fallen as many as seven slots lower than he was projected to be selected just months earlier. What happened?

Being one of the top rated high schoolers from the class of 2018, Reddish was recruited by several top-tier schools, including, but not limited to: Arizona, Kentucky, UCLA, and his eventual choice, the Duke Blue Devils.

Had Reddish been given the keys to the Blue Devils and was looked at as their leader, maybe he would’ve caught his stride and been drafted earlier. However, his commitment to Duke came with other top-five prospects, Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett, also packing their bags for Durham, North Carolina.

As the third option on the loaded Blue Devils team, Reddish struggled, posting only 13.5 points per game on rough shooting splits of 35.6 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from behind the arc. This is what ultimately damaged Reddish’s draft stock. How valuable can a 3-and-D player be if he can’t hit any shots?

When the Atlanta Hawks selected him with their 10th overall pick in the 2019 draft, they weren’t expecting Reddish to be a superstar, and they don’t really need him to be. In the handful of games they’ve played together, Trae Young and John Collins look to be the future of the Hawks and each already seem to be future All-Stars. Sure, the Hawks would be happy if Reddish became a third star and gave the Hawks a big three, but if he is nothing more than a 3-and-D player, the team will still be in goof hands and he will not be a let down.

In the four games where Reddish has contributed 10 or more points, his shooting numbers have been all over the place. Against the San Antonio Spurs and the Milwaukee Bucks, he shot 66.7 and 60.0 percent from the field respectively, whereas against the LA Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers, the 18-year old shooting guard shot 26.7 and 38.5 percent respectively.

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Cam Reddish may be experiencing a rough start to his rookie season, but there’s no need to fret. He was one of the top prospects from the high school class of 2018 for a reason. He is capable of being an effective scorer and efficient shooter. Being a third option for the first time in his life with Duke was a bad fit, but he will get used to not being the go-to guy. Reddish hasn’t quite found his footing in his first 18 games, but he’ll get there. Just give it time.