Should Celtics have interest in a Cam Reddish trade with Knicks? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens and head coach Ime Udoka both have highlighted bench scoring as a need for Boston this offseason.
Could a deal with the New York Knicks help them fill that need?
HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reported Friday that Knicks wing Cam Reddish “could be on the move” this offseason as New York aims to clear cap space for free-agent target Jalen Brunson. The Knicks also included Reddish in draft-night trade discussions, per SNY’s Ian Begley, so its sounds like they’re open to dealing the 22-year-old.
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Reddish would be a financial fit for Boston; he’s set to make $5.9 million in 2022-23 on the final year of his rookie contract, so the Celtics could use their $5.9 million traded player exception to acquire him without having to match salaries. But is he a basketball fit?
Reddish hasn’t lived up to expectations since going No. 10 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. He averaged 11.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists over two-plus seasons with the Atlanta Hawks and struggled with his shot (38.5 percent FG, 32.9 percent 3PT). He also struggled to stay on the court, playing fewer than 60 games in each of his first three seasons and suffering a season-ending shoulder injury with the Knicks in March.
The former Duke star has plenty of raw talent, however, and flashed his potential by dropping 21 points against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals. At 6-foot-8, he has the athleticism to guard multiple positions on defense and be a offensive threat off the bench behind star wings Jayson Tatum (a fellow Duke alum) and Jaylen Brown.
The Celtics apparently had Reddish on their radar back in February, as well, reportedly discussing the framework of a trade that would have sent Marcus Smart to Atlanta for Kevin Huerter and Reddish.
The Knicks likely would demand a first-round pick for Reddish, and the Celtics can’t trade their 2023 first-rounder under the NBA’s “Stepien Rule,” which prevents NBA teams from going back-to-back years without a first-round pick. (Boston sent its 2022 first-rounder to the San Antonio Spurs in the Derrick White trade.)
So, a realistic deal for Reddish might include a 2023 second-rounder and a Boston rotation player, or a Celtics first-rounder in 2024 or beyond.
Udoka hinted at a desire to add veteran talent after watching his young second unit struggle in the NBA Finals, so perhaps the C’s would prefer a more seasoned bench scorer than Reddish. But there’s plenty of upside here, so don’t be surprised if Stevens at least gives the Knicks a phone call.
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