The Big Apple Makes a Trade for the Big Picture
After surpassing expectations last season the New York Knicks front office made moves to ensure the success from last season continued into this one. With the acquisitions of Kemba Walker, and Evan Fournier during the offseason, things have been underwhelming from the Knicks so far. With the chance of expectations not being met for the season, the Knicks had to make something happen.
That "something" was catching a come-up on the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks are another team failing to meet expectations. After reaching the Eastern Conference finals last season, they find themselves sitting at the 12th seed with an 18-25 record. The struggles led both teams to the negotiation table where the Knicks seemed to "boo bop" the Hawks. The Hawks traded Cam Reddish, Solomon Hill, and a Brooklyn Nets 2025 second-round pick to the Knicks for Kevin Knox and a protected 2022 first-round pick.
Reddish's future in this league is still bright. A former lottery pick (10th in 2019), Reddish is only 22 and continues to show glimpses of what he can become in the league. His shooting ability is something that will remain an asset in a league that has shifted towards the three-point line. In his three seasons as an NBA player, Reddish has averaged 11 points, 1.4 assists, 3.4 rebounds on 39-33-83 shooting splits. Despite his numbers not jumping out at you, his scoring ability is always visible when he steps on the court. His numbers are only like that because of the situation he was in with the Hawks. The likes of Trae Young, John Collins, Clint Capela, and Kevin Heurter run the show for the Hawks, leaving Reddish to have a limited role.
Reddish becoming a Knick gives fans something to look forward to in the present and in the future. Reddish has now entered a situation where he will begin to see more touches. His experience playing off the ball the past two and a half seasons will also prove to help him when he is forced to defer to Julius Randle or RJ Barrett. All things are ultimately better for his development as a player, if it all goes as planned.
The sneaky move in this trade is reuniting the former Duke Blue Devil teammates, Cam Reddish and RJ Barrett. Not only is there a familiarity between the two, the Knicks now have two 22-year-old players with a good amount of potential. The Knicks front office can now look towards the future while also trying to maintain a playoff culture in the present day.
The duo of Reddish and Barrett also makes for a big-picture move in the future. Their duo is part of a bigger picture. A trio. It should come as no surprise that the Knicks are trying their best to become the frontrunners in the Zion Willamson sweepstakes. The trio of Barrett, Reddish, and Willamson made Duke a powerhouse for the lone season they were together.
Making this trade for Reddish not only gives the Knicks another young player with promising talent, but it can also help them secure another young player with game-changing talent. Although injury and weight problems have hindered Zion's career up until this point, it is hard to deny his productivity when he is on the court. In 85 games Zion is averaging 25.7 points, 3 assists, 7 rebounds while shooting 60% from the field and 33% from three. The efficiency along with the box office quality that Zion brings to the game is hard to deny for any franchise.
Securing Barrett and Reddish help bring the Knicks one step close securing the player they have been trying to get since the 2019 NBA draft. Now let's see if their plan works.