Knicks’ RJ Barrett can’t wait to play with Cam Reddish again

More than anyone in the Knicks organization, RJ Barrett has the inside scoop on playing with Cam Reddish.

So when management asked him a few questions about his former Duke teammate before he acquired Reddish from the Hawks on Thursday, Barrett answered them.

“If I know Cam, he’s up for the challenge,” Barrett said Friday. “I think he will do well here. He will have the chance to be a big part of this team. … It was easy to play with him [at Duke]. So hopefully that translates to the NBA as well.

Exactly how Reddish will fit in with the Knicks remains to be seen, but they won’t know yet. Reddish will be out “for a while” with a sprained ankle, coach Tom Thibodeau said, declining to offer a schedule. That means Reddish won’t get a chance to face his old team on Saturday night when the Knicks play in Atlanta.

But the Knicks are intrigued by the 22-year-old’s upside and will give him a chance for a fresh start, even though he left a crowded wing group in Atlanta for another crowded wing group in New York.

RJ Barrett (right) will reunite with former Duke teammate Cam Reddish (left).
Getty, USA TODAY Sports

“It gives us the opportunity to watch Cam,” Thibodeau said. “We’ll see when he gets here, we’ll see how he fits in and we’ll go from there. … Size, athleticism, wing position, that kind of stuff. Sometimes a change of scenery is good for people. So we’ll see how it will go.

The Knicks gave up a protected first-round pick (via the Hornets) and Kevin Knox to land Reddish, Solomon Hill (who is out for the season) and a 2025 second-round pick.

“Feels good, can’t wait to get started,” Reddish told the Knicks’ digital team as he boarded the plane for Atlanta. “I can’t wait to meet everyone, to meet all the guys. I haven’t seen RJ in a minute, so it should be good to see him.

Hawks general manager and chairman Travis Schlenk told reporters on Friday that Reddish this past offseason “expressed a desire to get to a place where he could have a bit of a bigger role.” Schlenk said the Knicks’ offer of a first-round pick, despite his protections, made the deal worth the risk of giving up Reddish’s potential.

“I don’t know if New York will be the perfect place for Cam or not, but my job is to get the best value for Cam Reddish possible,” Schlenk said. “He could definitely go on and have an All-Star caliber career and that wouldn’t shock me at all.”

Cam Reddish and RJ Barrett while teammates at Duke.
Cam Reddish and RJ Barrett while teammates at Duke.
Getty Images

In Atlanta, Reddish struggled for a few minutes (averaging 23.4 this season) alongside teammates Kevin Huerter, Bogdan Bogdanovic and De’Andre Hunter. Thibodeau said it’s too early to tell what kind of role Reddish will play with the Knicks, but the 6-foot-8 winger will likely come off the bench behind Barrett and Evan Fournier with fellow wingers Alec Burks (when he doesn’t). not start at point guard) and rookie Quentin Grimes.

“I don’t think you can get enough wings,” said Thibodeau, who described the Knicks’ wing position as “loaded.” “That’s kind of how our league has evolved. I appreciate [Reddish’s] Versatility. He can play three positions. In today’s NBA, I think that’s important.

“Our scouts have assessed him and they are very attached to him.”

reddish cam
Cam Reddish competed with other wings for playing time in Atlanta.
NBAE via Getty Images

The No. 10 pick in the 2019 draft averaged 11.9 points on a career-high 37.9% shooting from beyond the arc in 34 games this season. Reddish recalled his potential in December when he recorded a pair of 30-plus points over a four-game streak. But he also went scoreless in his last two games as a Hawk, despite only playing 3:14 in his last game before coming out with an ankle injury.

Reddish, who flew to New York to undergo a medical and meet the team in time to return to Atlanta, called Barrett on Thursday to get an overview of his new organization.

“It’s great to play with my brother Duke again,” Barrett said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m happy, I can’t wait for it to arrive. … I mean, he’s 6-8, very skilled, [can] shooting the ball, finishing with both hands, playing excellent defence. So you get a good talented player.

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