Next in GBB’s NBA Draft Prospect Profile Series is Duke forward, Cam Reddish. Reddish is a 6’8” wing who came into college as one of the top three recruits in the country. He chose to enroll at Duke University to be part of the Big 3 along side Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett. Reddish was definitely the least known out of the three which was contributed to his play on this Duke team.
In his one season at Duke, Reddish averaged 13.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. This was not the production many had expected from him coming out of high school. He is a raw, athletic wing who has a very high ceiling and has the opportunity to flourish outside of the shadow of Williamson and Barrett.
Coming into the draft, Reddish looks to be one of the many prospects bunched up into that 4-12 range in which different mock drafts have him going a variety of places. It has been mentioned with most of these prospect profiles that the Grizzlies are set at number two overall. Even if that is the case, a Mike Conley trade could have the Grizzlies back into the top-10. Would they take Reddish in one of these trade scenarios? If so, our own Joe Mullinax may have a real time Draft Night meltdown. Just watch this video on repeat and hope it puts your mind at ease.
The reason Cam Reddish is still so highly touted after being in the background during his freshman season is his raw talent and athleticism to rate him among the best recruits in the nation. The concerns are real about everything eventually coming together with him, but the ability is there to give him one of the higher ceilings of all the draft prospects. Any team who drafts him will be risking more than they may want on Draft Night. However, if they hit on Reddish, the sky is the limit to what he could become at the NBA level.
Cam Reddish’s biggest strength is his general attributes. His wingspan, size, and height show just what kind of a player he can turn into at the highest level. Yes, that probably does not do him many favors saying his strength is his size, but, nonetheless, he measures in as an NBA-ready body.
These attributes also translate well looking into the defensive side of the ball. Reddish has the 7’1” wingspan that can be easily versatile switching off onto many different positions being able to hold his own. This size with the raw ability he possesses could come together for a perfect storm in the NBA. It is just the biggest question of when and if that will come.
Another strength Cam Reddish possesses is his shooting ability off the catch and/or in the pull-up game. There were many instances at Duke when he came off a screen and knocked down some clutch shots for the Blue Devils. He shot 35.6% from the field and 33.3% which are not outstanding numbers, but the workload and bulk of shots he was asked to take dropped off quite a bit with both the other superstars on the court. Reddish can translate this shot well in the league and turn into a pure shooter that plays defense.
Reddish’s role in the league will be fashioned into the typical 3-and-D wing whose role is to score and defend. He will not be asked to do much more and that fits his game well. At Duke, he was the third option, and he took this role in stride. That mindset will get him far for teams to understand he will not be demanding the ball out of the gates.
Cam Reddish definitely has the raw talent and size to become a dominant scorer in the NBA, but his skills will have to be developed over time. Teams should cater to his switchable defense and shooting stroke. The ceiling is very high for Reddish, and his floor is even lower. If he can land in the right spot, his strengths will be able to show through.
Areas of Improvement
The biggest concerns for Cam Reddish was his inability to live up to his hype coming out of high school. He has the physical tools to be an incredible player, but his only season at Duke did not really show anyone anything about the type of player he could become. His numbers were suspect to say the least, even if it was on a crowded roster with Williamson and Barrett.
Specifically, his vision on the court was lackluster all season long. Reddish tried to become a creator for these other names on the floor but was always denied time after time not being able to muster up the assist numbers to back it up. He finished his year with 1.9 assists per game and 2.7 turnovers a game. That is not the ratio you want, especially playing with the top talent in college.
Another worry for front offices was Reddish passing up the big moment and taking a back seat. His inconsistent game had him accepting this role on the team which was not what people expected when he was a recruit. Maybe this will change when he is on his own team, but everyone still has the concern that Reddish may not be ready for the big moments when the pressure is on.
Finally, the last critique of Reddish’s game is his finishing around the rim. He never really learned to use his long wingspan to get to the bucket with authority. That is a skill that can definitely be learned over time, but the way this offense fit him, he rarely drove to the basket. This is evidenced by his measly 3.2 free throw attempts a game. In college, that number should be so much higher especially as a highly touted freshman. Contrast this with R.J. Barrett averaging 5.9 free throws per game. An attacking mindset will have to be learned to succeed in the league with his wingspan and size.
All in all, Cam Reddish has the size and raw skills to really succeed in the NBA. The only problem is that those talents need some work to translate at the highest levels of basketball. Can he do that? Yes, but he will need to work his butt off to get there. It will all be dependent on his starting situation. Cam Reddish will be the high upside pick for a team that can start him out as a 3-and-D wing and develop him into a hopeful, go-to scorer someday.
Stats provided by sports-reference.com