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As we near the final stretch before Thursday’s NBA Draft, discussions and rumors are expected to ramp up as time progresses. As reported on Sunday, it appears player movement is now on the menu, this time with Atlanta Hawks forward Cam Reddish.
As first reported by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, NBA executives are expecting the Atlanta Hawks to explore trade options in the name of “restarting the cycle of one of their rookie scale contract players,” the primary candidate noted — Cam Reddish.
The Hawks are rumored to have an asking price of a first-round draft choice.
Reddish, age 21, entered the Hawks organization as a key pick in the 2019 Draft as the 10th selection in the class. Coming off his sophomore campaign, Reddish averaged 11.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.3 steals in 26 appearances.
During his tenure in Atlanta, the Duke alum has slowly lost his footing in the rotation, slipping past Kevin Huerter, 2019 Draftee De’Andre Hunter, and recent free-agent pickups in Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danillo Gallinari.
The movement of Cam Reddish, or any of Atlanta’s young group, will come as a result of an abundance of lottery picks coming in a short span of time.
The Hawks have a major question to answer with forward John Collins this offseason, and next year, they also will need to manage Trae Young in what will become a maximum extension. Outside of Collins and Young, the Hawks may pay up to $113.2 million with the trio of Danillo Gallinari, Clint Capela, and Bogdan Bogdanovic.
To put on the topper, Atlanta’s potential extensions of Collins and Young will tie the Hawks down, but still, even more players are on the way. Kevin Huerter is up for an extension after next year. De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish will be up for an extension following the 2022-23 season. 2020 Lottery Pick Onyeka Okungwu will have a shot for a pay raise in the 2024 offseason.
There are just way too many moving parts.
Under the arbitrary asking price of a first-round pick, Oklahoma City is in the perfect spot to deal for Cam Reddish if he’s the odd man out.
The Thunder can offer lucrative trade packages to all the teams in the Top 3 of the Draft Class, particularly through their draft picks. If the Thunder successfully consolidate their picks to move up in this draft, their golden tickets in picks no. 16 and 18 will almost surely be taken, and Reddish will be off the table.
If this isn’t the case, however, Reddish poses the best small forward option you’ll find in the middle of the first.
A swap of pick no. 18 for Reddish likely does the trick. So, under this mock deal, a package for the Hawks’ guard would call for pick no. 18 straight up.
Oklahoma City’s situation at the three is still very much unclear. Both Aleksej Pokusevski and Darius Bazley have proven themselves to be future assets, but neither has cemented themselves at the three. Last year, Lu Dort started at small forward. He’s 6-foot-3.
Bringing in Reddish would give the Thunder a high-upside forward who has been buried in Atlanta’s depth chart for the past couple of seasons. A rebirth with the Thunder could see Reddish reach his true potential as a shot-creating wing alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Reddish is by no means a finished product. He’d be bumpy on this roster, especially from three. As a 26.2% three-point shooter last year, he needs to make up some strides, but it’s worth an investment.
With 18 firsts and 18 seconds until 2027, snagging a player like Reddish may sound the alarm for a scenario identical to Atlanta’s: too many young players in too short of a time. A situation like this would result in Oklahoma City resorting to offseason sales such as this one, but with a Presti’s knack at consolidating picks — chances are, even with Reddish, you won’t see this sort of Doomsday scenario.