GREENBURGH, N.Y. — There will be no revenge game for Cam Reddish in Atlanta on Saturday when the Knicks play his former team.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said Reddish, whom the Knicks obtained in a trade with the Hawks on Thursday, is expected to be "out a while" because of the sprained ankle he suffered in his final game with Atlanta.
Thibodeau said he doesn’t know how long it will be, but he and his staff clearly are itching to see what Reddish can add once he gets healthy.
"We’ll see when he gets here how he fits in and we’ll go from there," Thibodeau said Friday. "Size, athleticism, wing position, that sort of thing. Sometimes a chance of scenery is good for people
, so we’ll see how that unfolds.
"Everyone’s path is different. When you look at all the players in the league, some guys get off to fast starts, some guys get off to slow starts. It will all be based off performance. He comes in and it’s a fresh start for him. We’re loaded at the wing position right now, so we’ll see."
The 6-8 Reddish, who played with the Knicks’ RJ Barrett for Duke and was the 10th overall pick in the 2019 draft, struggled with injuries and inconsistency in his first two years in the league. The Hawks moved him to a bench role this season and he thrived (11.9 points per game) in slightly decreased minutes (23.4).
Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk told reporters in Atlanta that Reddish had come to him asking to go somewhere where he could have a bigger role.
"That’s the hard part any time you’re talking about a 22-year-old player that has played less than 150 games in the league, I think," Schlenk said of Reddish’s potential. "He’s super-high talent. We all see that. He’s got great length, he’s got great size, he’s got great skill level. But we’re trying to blend the team together as well. So we have to take all that stuff into consideration. He could certainly go on and have an All-Star-caliber career and I wouldn’t be shocked at all by that."
If that happens, it would be quite a steal for the Knicks, who gave up the Charlotte Hornets’ heavily protected first-round pick and Kevin Knox to obtain Reddish, Solomon Hill (who is out for the season) and a 2025 second-round pick.
Right now, there is no obvious slot in the rotation for Reddish. Barrett, Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier, Alec Burks, Immanuel Quickley and Derrick Rose have put in major minutes on the wing.
"We’ll see once he gets here," Thibodeau said of Reddish’s role. "Again, you have to base it on who you have available and what the rotation looks like.
"I don’t think you can have enough wings. That’s the way our league has gone. I like his versatility. He can play three positions. In today’s NBA, I think that’s important."
Once the trade went down, it was a whirlwind 24 hours for Reddish. The newest Knick flew to New York for a physical on Friday and then flew back to Atlanta with his new teammates.
Thibodeau said that as of midday Friday, he had spoken only briefly with Reddish. Barrett said he talked with his former teammate after the trade and is looking forward to playing with him again. He also said the Knicks came to him before the trade to get his take.
"It’s going to be a lot of fun,’’ he said. "I’m happy, can’t wait till he gets here . . . I mean, he’s 6-8, very skilled, [can] shoot the ball, finish with both hands, plays great defense. So you’re getting a good, talented player."