Cam Reddish might just be the most fascinating prospect in the 2019 NBA Draft pool. Heading into his freshman season at Duke, Reddish was already projected as a top-three pick, right behind teammates R.J. Barrett and Zion Williamson.
However, Reddish never quite found his groove at the collegiate level. Although he still managed to average close to 14 points and provided some sensational heroics against Florida State and Louisville in conference play, Reddish shot just 33 percent from beyond the arc and 35 percent from the field.
As a result, Reddish’s draft stock has become one giant mystery. Some mock drafts have Reddish going as high as no. 4 to the Lakers, while others have him falling out of the lottery entirely.
The 6’8″ wingman was hailed as a pure shooter with athleticism when he arrived at Duke, but also soon became lauded for his length and defensive playmaking abilities. Reddish averaged 1.6 steals per game for the Blue Devils.
There is also the suggestion that Reddish could benefit tremendously from added spacing, because Duke had a lack of consistent three-point threats and Reddish was either frequently gunning contested threes or attempting to shoot off the dribble.
In any case, Reddish has shown glimpses of his potential in addition to the accompanying red flags. Because of the relative uncertainty of his draft position, teams may be looking to get aggressive in order to have the opportunity to select him.
Here are three teams that should try to trade up for Cam Reddish:
This all depends on how high the Cavs are on Reddish and his potential. If they are really locked in on selecting him, then Cleveland may need to move up a spot.
The Lakers have shown some interest in taking Reddish at the no. 4 position, and he might be the kind of shooter and defensive playmaker that would fit perfectly alongside LeBron James and the rest of Los Angeles’ young core.
However, trading up a spot would essentially guarantee the Cavaliers the opportunity to draft Reddish, because Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and R.J. Barrett are almost certainly going to be 1-2-3, likely in that order.
The Cavaliers could aggressive in offering the no. 5 pick and a future first-rounder, maybe even a protected pick in 2020. While that may indeed be a very high price to pay simply to move up on spot, again, it depends on how highly Cleveland’s front office regards Reddish and what he may bring to the team.
Reddish would certainly be an interesting fit in Cleveland. He would likely see more of the ball while being surrounded by shooters like Kevin Love and Cedi Osman and a slashing playmaker in Collin Sexton. He certainly would be an upgrade defensively.
But what kind of price would Cleveland need to pay, and do they even have the kind of assets to swing a deal with the Lakers?
It is somewhat surprising that there have not been more rumblings about Reddish going to Washington. After all, he would be a perfect fit in D.C.
The Wizards traded away both Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre, and they seem like unlikely candidates to re-sign Trevor Ariza, which leaves a glaring vacancy at the small forward position.
Reddish would provide another capable playmaker and budding shooter alongside Bradley Beal, and an eventual group of John Wall, Beal and Reddish sounds as dynamic as any in the NBA. Especially with Wall missing the first half of next season, Reddish would have an immediate opportunity to be a scorer and offensive weapon on the wing.
Washington will not necessarily get so aggressive as to move into the top five. If Reddish is taken before then, there are other options. But if he is still on the board, the Wizards could certainly entice either the Bulls or the Hawks to trade back.
The Suns are unlikely to draft Reddish because they already have Devin Booker and need more of a pure point guard.
Meanwhile, Chicago’s draft strategy is very uncertain, and the Hawks have pick no. 8 and pick no. 10, affording them a plethora of options.
The Wizards would be wise to try to move up at least a spot or two if they hope to draft Reddish. Washington could move any one of Troy Brown Jr., Bobby Portis or Thomas Bryant or even future picks in addition to the no. 9 slot in an effort to move up.
The Hornets need to take some risks. They will almost certainly lose Kemba Walker to free agency, and their chances of landing an impact player dwindle at the no. 12 spot in the draft.
Nicholas Batum has been an awful acquisition in Charlotte, and the front office appears to have soured somewhat on Malik Monk due to his lack of progression.
The likely loss of Walker means the Hornets need a playmaker on the perimeter, and Reddish has proven that he is capable of being just that with the ball in his hands. Unlike Monk, he is also a long and stout defender that provides two-way value.
Charlotte desperately needs to stockpile assets and commit to a full-scale rebuild. If they can convince one of the teams higher up on the board to take the no. 12 pick along with a Monk, Cody Zeller or Jeremy Lamb, they could slash some payroll while also having the opportunity to draft a future cornerstone kind of player in Cam Reddish.