Just How Good Will Cam Reddish Be for the Hawks?
As we draw nearer to the commencement of the NBA season, the hype for rookies seems to be something that many fans are keeping their eyes on. Zion Williamson and R.J Barrett are just a couple names that have been thrown around in the Rookie of the Year conversations even two months before they officially step onto an NBA court.
One name not being mentioned as much by fans and media is Cam Reddish. Though his Duke classmates Zion and Barrett have acquired an abundance of attention, the Atlanta Hawk draftee has not garnered as much. His fellow rookies, however, seem to think Reddish will be the most successful player in the 2019 draft class.
Every year, the NBA surveys its rookie class on a number of things; one of them being “Which rookie will have the best career in the NBA?”. Reddish received 19 percent of the votes which was good for the top spot. Not bad for the 10th pick of the draft.
At this juncture in the offseason the ability and potential of Reddish remains a mystery. As an incoming freshman at Duke, Reddish was projected to be the top player in the nation; even ahead of his teammate and draft peer, Zion. After a full season of subpar shooting and efficiency, Reddish has plenty of room to grow and improve into the player many fans still expect him to be. At 6'8'' with a 7'1'' wingspan, Reddish is a flawless prototype for a perimeter defender capable of guarding multiple positions. This is an increasingly significant attribute as the league grows into a more positionless league.
In his lone college season, Reddish shot free throws at nearly an 80 percent clip. This is important to note considering that many times, a decent free throw shooting percentage is very telling of jump-shot development once a player steps into the NBA. His shooting stroke looks pure to the eye-test which is also a good sign. His potential to shoot the ball mixed with his prototypical frame and point guard experience should make him an absolute steal at the 10th pick in the draft.
Reddish should make the transition into the NBA and be available and ready to play the point guard, shooting guard, or small forward position. This will prove to be invaluable for the Hawks considering their diversity to play a number of different players at different positions; namely the two and three spots.
Over the course of the past few years, the number 10 draft pick products have been slightly underwhelming. Two Duke players have been selected at 10 in the past seven years; Austin Rivers and Justise Winslow. Both of these selections have not panned out the way their teams hoped they would. Jimmer Fredette and Thon Maker are also a couple of relatively recent picks at the same draft spot and have failed to succeed at the professional level. In fact, the last All-Star player who was drafted in this spot was Paul George in the 2010 Draft.
It is safe to say that that draft spot is due for a high-level talent player. At the very least, Hawks fans have something to look forward to again when pertaining to young talent. What a good sign it must be to have one of your first round picks voted as the most likely to succeed by his classmates and Duke teammates. Hopefully, this will come to fruition in the coming years.