NBA trades haven’t been flowing the way they usually do around this time of year, but fans got something on Thursday when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Knicks are acquiring Cam Reddish from the Hawks in exchange for a 2022 first-round pick (via Charlotte), a 2025 second-round pick (via Brooklyn), Kevin Knox and Solomon Hill.
ESPN Sources: The Atlanta Hawks are trading forward Cam Reddish to the New York Knicks for a deal that includes a protected 2022 first-round pick via Charlotte. Knicks also acquire Solomon Hill and a 2025 second-round pick via Brooklyn in trade.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 13, 2022
The deal sends Reddish, who was the No. 10 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, to a new location where he should see more opportunities for playing time than he has during his three-year stint in Atlanta.
Was there a clear winner and loser in the deal? Let’s break it down and see how this trade works out for both teams.
Did the Knicks win the Cam Reddish trade?
In short, the answer is yes.
Reddish, 22, gives the Knicks a young scorer and shot creator on the wing who hasn’t had much of a chance to prove his full capabilities at the NBA level so far. Reddish is averaging a career-high 11.9 points this season, but he only played 23.4 minutes per game for the Hawks. His shooting splits of .402/.379/.900 are the best marks of his career and he showed flashes of a player who could one day make an impact for a team if given the runway to do so.
His per-36 numbers give you a better idea of what he could be capable of, averaging 18.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.6 steals. He’s had a few breakout moments when given an uptick in minutes this season, including two 20-point games and two 30-point games, one of which he caught fire and knocked down a career-high eight 3-pointers.
Both 30-point games came within a one-week span where Reddish had entered the Hawks’ starting lineup due to the number of players being out in the league’s health and safety protocols.
His size, listed at 6-foot-8 with a wingspan over 7-feet, makes him an intriguing versatile defender. It will be interesting to see what defensive-minded head coach Tom Thibodeau can do to maximize his potential on that end of the floor.
Lastly, the deal reunites Reddish with his Duke college teammate RJ Barrett, giving a familiarity between one of the Knicks franchise cornerstones and their new acquisition.
Reddish and Barrett had plenty of opportunities to work on their two-man game during their lone season at Duke as star forward Zion Williamson missed a month of action after suffering a knee injury when his shoe blew out during a game.
Knicks fans, get excited to see some of this:
Reddish’s role on the team is, of course, still unknown, but it’s hard to believe the Knicks would spend a first-round pick on a player they don’t intend to play. It will be fun to see how he fits into New York’s rotation once the trade is finalized.
What’s in it for the Hawks?
Reddish was set to hit restricted free agency this offseason and after paying Trae Young, Clint Capela and John Collins, along with the lucrative deals they extended Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Gallinari to two offseasons ago, it was unlikely they would have been able to match any sort of big offer for the 22-year-old wing.
This assures they get something in return for a former top-10 pick (not to mention the added pressure that Reddish was the player Atlanta selected with the additional first-round pick it acquired in the draft-day deal that sent Luka Doncic to the Mavericks for Young).
The move is likely the first of what could be a series of trades, with Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer’s latest NBA trade intel stating that one assistant GM said, “Everyone but Trae Young and Clint Capela are available.”
It is worth noting that Collins, the Hawks’ most valuable trade piece, is not eligible to be moved until Jan. 15 because he just signed an extension this offseason, so it will be a few days before those potential discussions escalate.
The Hawks are struggling after a breakout run to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, owning a 17-23 record to this point, 3.0 games back from even holding a spot in the Play-In Tournament.