With three first round picks in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks have options. One option is Duke forward Cam Reddish, who could be a welcomed addition.
In order to hit a home run with one of their first round picks in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks are going to have to take a risk.
After Duke forward Zion Williamson, this draft class offers several interesting talents, but all of them come with considerable risk. Owning three picks in the top 20 selections, the Hawks will have to make a determination of which warts they are willing to deal with, and that’s before factoring their fit with point guard Trae Young.
For the Hawks, a man in consideration at pick No. 8 is Duke forward Cam Reddish. Already rated highly in the Atlanta front office, Reddish offers a unique opportunity for a team that might have to take a swing for the fences.
Coming out of high school, Reddish was a top-three recruit. Joining Duke alongside Williamson and R.J. Barrett, the thought was that the Blue Devils would be celebrating another national championship, led by a star-studded recruiting class. Zion’s ability overshadowed both Barrett and Reddish and while Barrett adjusted, Reddish struggled.
For the season, he finished with averages of 13.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game on 35.6 percent shooting from the field.
Via Hoop-Math.com, Reddish shot just 51.2 percent at the rim and 27.7 percent on 2-point jumpers. Basically, whenever Reddish stepped inside the arc, he was offering a poor shot attempt. At times, Reddish appears to disappear throughout games, which was only amplified as Williamson and Barrett carried Duke from time to time.
Despite shooting concerns, there are a few interesting details that make Reddish a top-10 prospect.
Defensively is where Reddish will shine. As a freshman, Reddish averaged 2.1 steals per game and posted a defensive rating of 95.1 — both good for a defensive player. Reddish used his size and defensive IQ to play the passing lanes well. Because of that, Reddish was a key piece to Duke’s best defensive lineups, with the third-best defensive rating.
In Atlanta, he would make sense as a perfect fit alongside Trae Young.
You also have to consider his situation at Duke. The Blue Devils lacked a true creation point guard and finished 327th in the nation in 3-point shooting. Young offers a creator for Reddish, who can also space the floor. Guys like Kevin Huerter and John Collins offer offensive threats to work off of, while Kent Bazemore could help defensively.
Reddish might not be a superstar, but could he be Robert Covington? It’s a bit of a stretch with Covington being an elite defender, but Reddish has tools to be a solid defensive player who can play off a better offensive player and make 3s. At 6’8″ with a wingspan of 7’0″, Reddish offers Atlanta a wing who can defend multiple positions.
The Hawks will have to make a decision among several players with risk when they use their first round picks to add to a young nucleus. Cam Reddish has several warts on offense, but the combination of passing, defense and an adjustment to having more spacing and shooting could make him an enticing piece for Atlanta.