The UFC has finalized a matchup in their heavyweight division for next month’s PPV. MMA Junkie was the first outlet to report this afternoon that the promotion had finalized a heavyweight matchup between former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (32-20) and Jared Vanderaa (12-6).
The matchup will take place at UFC 271 on February 12th. This is a really big opportunity for Jared Vanderaa. Vanderaa enters this contest having gone just 1-2 so far in three UFC appearances. He earned a spot with the promotion after scoring a first round knockout on the contender series.
Vanderaa jumped right in there with a top heavyweight when he fought Sergey Spivak. He was stopped in the second round in that fight. then he got a fight against the tough Justin Tafa and won a decision. He’s currently coming off of a loss to Alexander Romanov by decision back in October.
Getting a shot against a former UFC champion is a big deal regardless of that champion’s current status. This is a big fight for Vanderaa with big implications. If he can win, he’s back on track with a former champion under his belt. However, if he loses, he might be looking at the UFC letting him go.
Former UFC champion returns
Andrei Arlovski is getting ready to turn 43 years old yet he has no plans on slowing down. The former heavyweight champion is currently riding a two-fight win streak leading to UFC 271. the last time we saw him was back in October when he defeated Carlos Felipe by decision.
Prior to that, he had a decision win over Chase Sherman. Overall, Arlovski is 5-2 in his last seven UFC fights. The only two losses he’s had have come against Jairzinho Rozenstruik and the top prospect Tom Aspinall. It’s clear that Arlovski has remained competitive in the heavyweight division.
While Arlovski is no longer a championship contender, he has proven to still be serviceable. At UFC 271, he will be making the walk again and he will be looking for his first three-fight win streak since 2015 when he went on a six-fight win streak.
Moments after the Cam Reddish trade to the New York Knicks circulated online on Thursday morning, Duke Men’s Basketball official Twitter account posted a GIF of RJ Barrett whipping a between-the-leg pass to a trailing Reddish for a three-pointer.
Barrett quickly liked the tweet. The Knicks’ rising swingman is hyped to play with Reddish again.
“It’s great to play with my Duke brother again. It’s gonna be a lot of fun. I’m happy. I can’t wait,” Barrett told reporters Friday. “We had a good talk yesterday. When he gets here, I hope I could help him gel with the team. I gave him a little bit of a rundown.
After inconsistent three-and-a-half seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, Reddish is moving on, seeking a more defined role in a place where he can showcase the tantalizing talent that made him one of the top prospects out of high school and a top-10 lottery selection out of college. But it’s unclear if that place is New York.
Over his first 118 NBA games, Reddish averaged 11.1 points on a sub-par 38.5 percent shooting from the floor, including just 32.9 percent from the three-point range in 26.3 minutes. He’s hiked his outside shooting to 37.9 percent this season on 4.5 attempts — a much-needed swing skill for the 6-foot-8, 217-pound forward.
“I don’t think we would have gotten him if that wasn’t the case. So, I think he’ll do well here and have a chance to be a great piece to this team. We’re excited to have him,” Barrett said.
Then he rattled one by one the full scouting report on Reddish: “He’s 6-foot-8, very skilled [player]. He shoots the ball, finishes with both hands, and plays great defense. Again, we’re getting a good, talented player.”
Reddish hasn’t put together those skillsets in Atlanta due to a spate of injuries. Eventually, he got buried behind the likes of fellow young talents De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter, and the arrival of veterans Bogdan Bogdan Bognadovic and Danilo Gallinari last season further clouded his future with the Hawks. So he asked the front office to move him elsewhere rather than get stuck on the bench.
The caveat is he’s moving to a similar situation in New York. Reddish has to fight again for his playing time in a Knicks’ stacked wing rotation filled with veterans. But Reddish’s physical tools trump all the current Knicks’ wings at the moment.
During the 2019 NBA Draft, Knicks general manager Scott Perry reportedly stood pat in selecting Barrett and shunning offers to move down for a chance to grab someone like Reddish. Now they got them both.
Barrett revealed the Knicks front office sought him for his thoughts about his former teammate before the trade went down.
“They asked me a couple of questions,” Barrett said.
At Duke, Reddish played a smaller role behind consensus NBA top overall pick Zion Williamson and Barrett, who love attacking the rim. Reddish was the lone Blue Devil who averaged more than two three-pointers per game (2.5 3s to be exact). But his shooting splits (36/33/77) left much to be desired.
Williamson and Barrett flourished, with both Duke stars averaging 22.6 points per game. Despite Reddish’s physical gifts, he could only grab 3.7 rebounds per game, along with his 13.5-point scoring average. But he played tough defense. His 1.6 steals per game is one solid proof.
“It was fun. It was easy out there playing with him,” Barrett recalled their days at Duke. “I hope that translates to the NBA too.”
Barrett kept tabs on his former teammates despite going separate ways after a one-and-done season at Duke that didn’t end in an NCAA championship when Williamson got injured.
“We stayed in touch all the time. I keep tabs on my (college) teammates to see how they’re doing. I think just before he got hurt, he had a really good stretch,” said Barrett referring to Reddish’s strong December.
Reddish scored in double figures in seven of the Hawks’ 10 games last month. He had a pair of 30-point games against Orlando and Chicago and averaged 14.7 points on a 40/39/91 shooting splits.
Barrett added that the Duke’s coaching staff also tracked their development. He said he regularly talks to Duke’s associate head Jon Scheyer once or twice a week. He’s also kept in touch with Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and assistant Nolan Smith.
When asked if he heard from his former Duke teammates about their reunion in New York, Barrett kept it close to his chest.
“We’ll keep that in house,” said Barrett with a sheepish smile.
The trade and Barrett’s answer could only fuel more speculation about Williamson’s already murky future in New Orleans.
After this season, all three former Duke players are extension-eligible and could hit free agency in 2023.
Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC Vegas 46, we will see an important matchup in the women’s flyweight division. Top contenders will battle it out for a second time as former title challengers Katlyn Chookagian (16-4) and Jennifer Maia (19-7-1) will battle.
As mentioned, this is the second time that these two flyweights will square off. The first time came back at UFC 244 with Chookagian picking up the decision win. That win earned Chookagian a title shot against Valentina Shevchenko.
Of course, Chookagian lost in that opportunity. Since her loss to the champion, Chookagian has gone 3-1 with the lone loss coming against former UFC champion Jessica Andrade. That said, she’s riding a two-fight win streak heading into tomorrow night.
On the other side of the cage tomorrow night is Jennifer Maia. Maia will be looking to pick up her second consecutive win. The last time we saw Maia was back at UFC 264 when she took on Jessica Eye. That night she was able to win a decision.
That win came on the heels of her title loss to Valentina Shevchenko. Whoever wins tomorrow night will be in a good position to potentially challenge the champion once again.
UFC Vegas 46 Prediction
When looking at this fight on paper, I’m not sure we are going to see a much different fight than we saw the first time. The game plan for both fighters is going to be the same at UFC Vegas 46. For Jennifer Maia, she’s going to need to get this fight to the ground.
We saw even against the champion that Jennifer Maia is good in grappling exchanges. She’s very strong and she’s incredibly slick on the ground. If she’s able to get in tight and get the fight to the mat, there’s a clear path to victory.
That said, Katlyn Chookagian is not going to be easy to get down. For Chookagian, she needs to utilize her normal game plan. That game plan involves staying on the outside and working her volume strikes on her way to a decision victory.
Ultimately, I think that’s what’s going to happen. I think the fight will take place mostly on the feet and Chookagian will score more points. I’m expecting the same result as the first fight at UFC Vegas 46.
Prediction: Katlyn Chookagian by Unanimous Decision
Cam Reddish got his wish to get traded. But it appears the Knicks‘ newly-acquired wing finds himself in the same situation he was trying to escape.
Reddish will not be available when the New York Knicks face his former team, Atlanta Hawks, on Saturday. He will be out for a while due to a sprained right ankle, coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters Friday.
On top of that, the defensive-minded coach hinted that Reddish’s spot in the rotation isn’t guaranteed.
“It will all be based on performance. It’s a fresh start for him. We’re loaded at the wing position right now. So, we’ll see,” Thibodeau said.
As tantalizing Reddish is as a talent, he is also a polarizing one.
Reddish flashed teases of his potential during last season’s Eastern Conference Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks, which he capped with a 21-point effort and plus-4 differential in the Game 6 loss. But he’s failed to follow that up with an inconsistent start this season. However, it can be argued that the lack of a defined role in the loaded Hawks lineup could be a culprit, which is the primary reason why he sought a trade.
In December, his pair of 30-point games that highlighted a five-game stretch of double-digit scoring was encouraging. But it will be tough for him to find playing time in a similarly loaded Knicks team that has started to turn the corner.
The Knicks have won seven of their last 10 games, beginning on a Christmas Day blowout against the Hawks. During that stretch, the Knicks have rediscovered their defense, ranking first in defensive rating (102.8) and second in opponents’ second-chance points (10.7), opponents’ fastbreak points (8.5), and opponents points in the paint (39.6).
“That’s the other thing — the group that is playing now are playing well. So, we want to keep that going,” Thibodeau said.
Then add Derrick Rose and Kemba Walker to the mix when they become healthy, and the Knicks are stacked.
“You have to base it on who’s available and what the rotation looks like,” Thibodeau added. “No one’s playing, 10, 11, 12 guys, that’s for sure.”
But all is not lost for the 22-year old Reddish, who has the physical tools to excel as a dynamic two-way force for the Knicks if he can put it all together. Thibodeau said the Knicks scouts feel strongly about the no. 10 pick of the 2019 NBA Draft. Reddish has the size and athleticism that neither of the current Knicks’ wings possesses.
“I don’t think you could have enough wings. That’s sort of the way our league has gone and I like his versatility. He can play three positions in today’s NBA. I think that’s important,” Thibodeau said.
When Reddish is healthy and ready, his pathway to a meaningful role is by playing tough defense, which he had shown in spurts but not consistently during his first three-and-a-half seasons in the NBA.
Thibodeau said he talked to Reddish on the phone after the trade was finalized Thursday.
“I have certain thoughts [about him] because of playing against him, watching him, and getting his thoughts about coming in and just welcoming him to the organization,” Thibodeau said. “Sometimes the change of scenery is good for people. So, we’ll see how it unfolds.”
On the surface, the Knicks have won the trade. But the logjam in the wing rotation could stunt Reddish’s growth. It smells like the Knicks aren’t done tinkering with their roster.
Headed into next season, it’s not clear which direction the New York Giants offense will take. The offense is no longer held back by Jason Garrett calling plays, and a new staff will mean a new direction. Of all the organizations worth imitating, the Kansas City Chiefs are one of the most notable because of their recent success over the last years. The Chiefs offense has practically been the opposite of the Giants’ one in recent seasons, finishing near the top of the league while the Giants have consistently been near the bottom.
But according to former Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, the team already has one receiver that fits the mold of a major Kansas City star.
Victor Cruz compares Kadarius Toney to Tyreek Hill
“I think if we can take some, some bits and pieces of that offense—and we have a guy like, you know like Tyreek Hill in Kadarius Toney that can work the middle of the field, that is quick and fast and can make some things happen–I would love to see a Kansas City Chiefs style offense come to the Giants,” Cruz told Sports Illustrated’s Patricia Traina on Thursday.
The Giants certainly do have a number of weapons to facilitate a Chiefs style offense after last offseason’s acquisition of both Toney and Kenny Golladay. But this season showed how those players can only do so much without an offensive line to protect the quarterback, and how relying on injury prone players can backfire.
It’s almost certain that the offensive playcalling will look very different after the season demonstrated almost exactly what not to do. But whether or not it moves to a more up-tempo and dynamic style depends not just on the new staff, but also whether the offensive line receives more talent.
What Toney needs to improve to live up to the comparison
Based on his play style and highlights, it’s not hard to see why Kadarius Toney has been compared to Tyreek Hill since entering the league. Both players are agile and don’t fit into the mold of one position easily, but obviously, Hill has had far more success in the league. It’s not an easy comparison to live up to, but Toney showed flashes of potential in his rookie year. Most notably, against the Cowboys when he put up year-high numbers and bailed out the offense more than once.
With that being said, one of the biggest differences between Hill and Toney doesn’t have to do with on the field play. Toney’s largest problem during his rookie season was injuries, as he only played in 10 games and was playing at less than 100% in some of them. Hill, on the other hand, appeared in every game for the Chiefs during the regular season.
It’s unclear whether this season was just filled with bad luck for Toney or whether these injuries are part of a larger trend, but it’s clear that staying on the field and getting more time in actual games is necessary for Toney to reach the high expectations that were placed on him when Dave Gettleman made the decision to draft a receiver in the first round.
Those who followed the 2000s New York Yankees heavily have some fond memories of a homegrown outfielder that looked like a solid contributor, at the very least a solid reserve: Melky Cabrera.
On Friday, MLB insider Hector Gomez announced that Cabrera is retiring from baseball at 37, after playing for eight franchises: the Yankees, the Chicago White Sox, the Kansas City Royals, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the San Francisco Giants, the Atlanta Braves, and the Cleveland Indians (now Guardians).
Melky Cabrera announces his retirement.
– 15 MLB seasons (2005-2019) – 1 All Star – World Series ring (2009) – All-Star Game MVP (2012) – BA .285 – 144 HR – 854 rbis – 895 runs – 1,962 hits – 383 2B – 45 3B – 101 SB – OBP .334 – SLG .417 – OPS .751 pic.twitter.com/47QKkXdSD0
He started his MLB tenure in 2005 with the Yankees and his last team were the Pirates, in 2019. He calls it quits with a solid .285/.334/.417 line, 144 home runs, 895 runs, 854 RBI, and 101 stolen bases. He had a 101 wRC+.
Melky’s outfield defense wasn’t good, but he was known as a contact hitter with some pop and speed. He played five seasons with the Yankees, until 2009, and he was an important part of that championship-winning team.
In 15 seasons in The Show, Cabrera was selected to an All Star game (in 2012, and he was the MVP that night) and won a World Series ring.
The former Yankees outfielder had a nice career
Quietly, Cabrera finished his playing days just shy of 2,000 career hits, at 1,962. He had some highs and lows, most notably the 50-game suspension in 2012 for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. At the time, he was leading the majors with 159 hits and was second in the National League with a .346 batting average.
He received a World Series ring for his contributions to the San Francisco Giants in 2012 before being suspended.
He became famous in the Yankees because of his friendship with second baseman and fellow farmhand Robinson Cano, and also because of his nickname: he was called Leche (milk) around the clubhouse.
All in all, he was a solid player who will be remembered by Yankees fans.
Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC Vegas 46, we will see a big time showdown in the featherweight division. Top contenders will battle it out in a matchup with big time implications as Calvin Kattar (22-5) returns to take on the surging Giga Chikadze (14-2).
UFC Vegas 46 will be the first time we’ve seen Calvin Kattar in about a year. Last year, Kattar kicked off the UFC’s 2021 when he took on Max Holloway in a headlining fight on Fight Island. Had Kattar won that fight, he might’ve had a title shot in 2021.
However, he fell short and took such a beating that he took some time away. Now, he’s refreshed and ready to go. Overall, Kattar is 2-1 in his last three and the two wins came against top contenders Dan Ige and Jeremy Stephens.
Standing across from Kattar tomorrow night is Giga Chikadze. Chikadze has been on a sensational run since joining the UFC. Chikadze is currently sitting at 7-0 with the promotion. In his last fight, he completely destroyed Edson Barboza and proved he’s one of the best in the world.
UFC Vegas 46 Prediction
This is such a fun fight to headline the first UFC card of 2022. Both of these guys have tremendously exciting styles, but they also are very different in their approach. Chikadze is a very kick-heavy striker while Kattar prides himself on his boxing.
On pure boxing technique, Kattar is one of the very best in the promotion. Meanwhile Chikadze might be the best kickboxer in the featherweight division. A clash of striking styles should produce a sensational fight at UFC Vegas 46.
One thing to watch for is the counter striking of Kattar. His boxing is good enough to time Chikadze’s shots and fire over the top. That said, the range could end up being an issue for Kattar. I expect a lot of low kicks and body kicks from Chikadze early. Expect him to try and zap that gas tank.
I think we are finally going to see Chikadze’s chin tested tomorrow. Kattar is going to hit him and I’m curious to see how he takes a shot considering he really hasn’t been hit clean in the UFC. Ultimately, I think he’s going to be able to withstand the shots.
Ultimately, I think that Chikadze is going to get the win. I think he’s going to pull away in the early rounds with his kick-heavy attack. However, I’m expecting Kattar to come on strong late. If Chikadze gasses out, don’t rule out a Kattar stoppage late. That said, I think Chikadze gets a decision win at UFC Vegas 46.
The former New York Yankees’ great seemed to be well on his way to earning a place in Cooperstown in the late 1980s before a back injury ended his career and ultimately cast doubt over his candidacy. Although Mattingly was once again up for consideration for the National Baseball Hall of Fame as one of 10 finalists for induction on the 2020 Modern Baseball Era ballot, Mattingly failed again.
Most in baseball think of “Donny baseball” as one of the best Yankee hitters of all time, which he probably was. But what most miss is that he was perhaps the most excellent defender at first base, or any base ever, not just as a Yankee, but as a baseball player. In his fourteen years, his fielding percentage was .9959. That’s four misplayed balls out of 1000 sent his way. His offensive career ended up with an average of .307 with 222 home runs and three consecutive seasons of over 200 hits.
Mattingly the early years
Donald Arthur Mattingly was born on April 20, 1961, in Evansville, Indiana, the youngest of five children of Bill and Mary Mattingly in Evansville, Indiana. Mattingly’s introduction to baseball included backyard Wiffle ball. Because he was the youngest in the family, his brothers let him tag along to their neighborhood baseball games. Being the youngest, he would have to try harder than the other boys, and at his young age, he found that he could hold his own against the older players.
As a teenager, he attended Reitz Memorial High School in Evansville. He would excel in baseball, football, and basketball. He was the team’s starting quarterback. In basketball, he was the team’s point guard. But it was one American Legion baseball game that convinced Don that he was a baseball player. In a 1976 game against the neighboring town of Owensboro, Kentucky, he faced a pitcher who was the Cincinnati Reds’ top draft pick that year. Don, a freshman, hit two doubles off the star. From then on, people knew who Don Mattingly was. At one point, Mattingly helped Reitz Memorial to a 59-game winning streak, with one of those wins coming in the Indiana state championship game in his junior season. After that, he started getting letters offering scholarships.
Don credits his high school baseball coach to instilling a strong work ethic and always getting better. His coach would say to him, if you are the best on the team, you need to be best in the region; if you’re the best in the region, you need to be the best in the state, and then you start to think about the best in the country. Mattingly would recall that ethics helped him in minor leagues when he fought for jobs. Because he got so many scholarship offers, most scouts thought he would attend college. But the Yankees took a chance and drafted him in the 1979 draft at the age of 18, Mattingly accepted, and the Yankees signed him to a minor league contract.
Donnie Baseball in the minors and his Major League debut
Mattingly enjoyed almost instant success in the minor leagues, hitting .349 with the Oneonta Yankees of the Class-A (short season) New York-Penn League in 53 games in 1979. In 1980 he moved up to Greensboro, then on to AA Nashville. In 1981 he was promoted to AAA Columbus. There he hit .315 with 98 RBI’s. The performance was good enough to get him called up to the stadium when the roster expanded in September. He flopped miserably in seven games with the big club, hitting .167. As the 1983 season started, he made the team and appeared in seven at-bats before being sent back down to Columbus. After 43 games at Columbus, he was hitting .340, and when Bobby Mercer retired, he was called up to fill the position for the New York Yankees. He spent the rest of the year as a spot hitter, left and right fielder, and at first base.
In 1984, Yogi Berra was the new Yankee manager, and he would say that Donnie would be on the team, much to Donnie’s relief, as he wouldn’t have to wonder if he would make it. Berra believed he would best be used as a reserve player and a pinch-hitter because “he has the kind of stroke that enables him to sit for three weeks and still hit,” as Berra said. It took only a few weeks of spring training to change Berra’s mind. After a March in which Mattingly hit well and continued to show off his slick glove at first base, Berra announced that Mattingly would start the season as the regular first baseman. Donnie would never see the minor leagues again. In 1984 Mattingly would hit .343 with 207 hits with 23 home runs. He would be an All-Star. He didn’t know it at the time, but it would be the best season of his career.
Mattingly becomes a baseball star:
For the next five years, he would hit over .300 and establish himself as one of the game’s best first basemen. In 1985 he would have 147 RBI’s. As the season was coming to an end and the Yankees out of reach of the postseason, the media’s big New York Yankees story was the batting title race between him and Dave Winfield. With four games remaining and four right-handed pitchers to face, Lou Pinella gave the advantage to Mattingly. But for Mattingly, he would go only 1 for 7, and Winfield went upon him. But in the last game of the year, Mattingly would hit four hits in the game, winning the race. After the game, Winfield and Mattingly walked to first base and shook hands before a wildly cheering Yankee crowd.
Mattingly’s 1986 season was even more dominant than his MVP campaign the year before. He hit .352, with 238 hits, 53 doubles, 31 home runs, and 113 RBIs. He finished second to Roger Clemens that year in MVP voting. All in all, Mattingly would go on to play in six All-Star games, be nominated for the MVP seven times, winning it once, and would receive an unprecedented nine Gold Glove Awards. He would also win three Silver Slugger Awards. In the five years.
After 1990 his performance would fall off considerably due to the injured discs in the back. However, most say he was still one of the best players in either league. Donnie would spend his entire 14-year career with the Yankees. He finished his career with 2,153 hits, 222 home runs, 1,007 runs scored, 1,099 RBI, and a .307-lifetime average. After he retired as a player, he would manage the Dodgers for five above .500 seasons. He then managed the lowly Florida Marlins, never having a winning season. He still works as the Marlins manager with the owner, fellow Yankee Derek Jeter.
He will always be “Donnie Baseball,” an all-time fan favorite of the Yankee faithful for Yankee fans. Many fans wanted him to replace Joe Girardi as Yankee manager. He got 28% of the vote in his first year of eligibility, failing to get enough votes, but it was enough to keep him on the ballot until 2015. After that, he never approached 28% again. Nevertheless, New York Yankees fans believe he should be enshrined.
Below are some video highlights of his illustrious career.
EmpireSportsMedia.com’s columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam.
New York Yankees star Minor League shortstop Anthony Volpe has been grabbing all the headlines as of late, but the attention has now turned to 18-year-old phenom Jasson Dominguez, who started with Low-A Tampa last season in his first stint with the Yankees’ farm system.
Dominguez enjoyed 56 games of action, despite the Covid pandemic disrupting baseball the last two years. Over 206 at-bats, Dominguez posted a .252 average with five homers and 19 RBIs.
The Dominican Republic native also contributed nine stolen bases, 27 walks, and only grounded into one double play. As for his fielding, he recorded a .969 fielding percentage with two errors over 355.2 innings. While we can expect that number to increase as time goes on, Dominguez showcased the benchmark of what he’s capable of.
The Yankees have swayed toward different analytics and ignored batting average over the past few seasons, and with Dominguez’s lucrative power, he fits the mold perfectly.
However, general manager Brian Cashman gushed about his talent, noting his work ethic as a primary catalyst behind his developmental success.
“His work ethic is exceptional; his will to be successful is exceptional,” Cashman said recently, via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. “When you engage all the departments, whether it’s player development, performance science, the measurables that come along with it — he’s basically an anomaly, something that doesn’t come along very often.”
There’s a reason that people call Dominguez “The Martian,” considering he’s 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds at just 18-years-old. His size and speed combinations give him the potential to be a Mike Trout-level prospect, but of course, he has a long way to go before testing those waters.
“There’s a lot of very talented people, and he has a higher level of degree and talent than most,” Cashman said. “If he can obviously put that together and match that to his performance level, you’re going to be talking about something very special.”
Even Kevin Reese, the Yankees Vice President of Player Development, was raving about Jasson’s capabilities:
“Everywhere he goes, he’s turning heads,” Reese said. “His ability to connect with people, his ability to lead at such a young age, the exit velo, the speed. Some of the measurables that we do on our performance science side, it’s all off the charts. We just want to get him to play more baseball; I think all of the skill is there, all of the ability is there.”
The Bombers likely won’t elevate Dominguez to the big leagues for another two seasons at least, but he could work his way through the minor-league system rather quickly. If he can make the jump to Double-A ball this year and post quality numbers, there’s nothing stopping him from skyrocketing through the system.
After years of prospects plateauing at the big leagues, the Yankees have a few names with unlimited potential, which should brew excitement for the fans.
By all accounts, the New York Knicks came out on top with a trade involving the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday. In a deal, the Knicks acquired Cam Reddish and Solomon Hill from Atlanta, providing them with a 2022 protected first-round pick via Charlotte and Kevin Knox.
This season, Reddish has been upset with his role, asking management to trade him to a team that will give him a more expanded opportunity. Reddish is averaging a career-high 11.9 points over 23.4 minutes, a high over three seasons in the NBA.
However, the 22-year-old forward has seen a tremendous increase in three-point efficiency, shooting 26.2% last year and elevating to 38% this year from deep. He’s also averaging around the same amount of attempts at 4.5 compared to 4.8 last season.
Typically, small forwards are capable of being versatile, helping in different scenarios, and being a flexible option with varying combinations of players. The only other small forward the Knicks have on the roster is Evan Fournier, who’s been featuring more of a shooting role this season.
How Reddish will fit into the Knicks strategy and gameplan is yet to be seen, but his smaller frame than a power forward gives him more versatility and speed.
The Knicks officially announced the acquisition on Friday morning but also indicated they will be waiving recently signed point guard Ryan Arcidiacono.
Arcidiacono has missed several games due to an injury, and with the trade taking place, they didn’t have the extra roster spot to keep him involved moving forward. The former Chicago Bull has experienced four seasons in the NBA, averaging a career-best back in 2018 with 6.7 points and 3.5 assists per game.
With the Knicks struggling at point guard, they desperately needed more assistance and support, but they will continue to roll with Miles McBride, Immanuel Quickley, and Alec Burks to supplement the losses of Derrick Rose and Kemba Walker, who is expected to return at some point soon.
Coincidentally, the Knicks are preparing to face off against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night. Reddish will have an immediate opportunity to show his former team what he’s capable of, given Tom Thibodeau supplies him with ample playing time.