While it shouldn’t have been a surprise because it was his 23rd birthday, but he had an ominous feeling.
“I’m like, ‘Oh man, what did I do?’ So I opened up my Instagram and ‘yeah, [you] request a trade, [you request a trade.’
I didn’t do anything. I was just lifting weights. I don’t know where that came from. Now, I got to deal with that [on my birthday]. It’s not fair. Do you understand? Do you feel me?
But it’s all good. I understand how it goes. But I didn’t request a trade at all.”Cam Reddish during Knicks training camp
Just a few moments after the Knicks posted a birthday greeting card on their social media channels, Reddish was also greeted with trade rumors sparked by a New York Post story reporting ‘he wants a change of scenery.’
Reddish is in a tough spot entering his fourth year in the NBA following another uneven season that ended in a shoulder injury. A former five-star recruit and one-third of the Duke Big 3 alongside Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, the 6-foot-8 wing was used to star treatment.
It hasn’t been the case since he was selected 10th overall in the stacked 2019 NBA Draft.
“I still got all my stuff. So that didn’t go anywhere. It’s just now I’m fighting for a spot. When I was in high school, I wasn’t fighting for a spot, but I had game. I got game [now], I’m just fighting for a spot. So it ain’t no different.”Cam Reddish during Knicks training camp
New York coach Tom Thibodeau was reportedly not on board in getting Reddish. But the Knicks front office gave up Kevin Knox and a first-round pick for the tantalizing prospect that was hounded by injuries and inconsistencies in his first two and a half seasons in the league.
Reddish sought a change of scenery from Atlanta last season because he wanted a larger role. He ended up in New York, where his role shrunk even more.
Entering the training camp, Reddish figures to be still from the outside looking in as Thibodeau remained non-committal on his role.
“The players are going to earn what they get. We have good depth (at wing). I can’t tell you right now who’s in the rotation, who’s not in the rotation. That’ll be earned. And then if someone’s not in the rotation initially, doesn’t mean that they stay there.
“I’ve told you before I’m not as wrapped up in who starts as you guys [in the media] are. I’m more wrapped up in who plays well and who helps out team the most. We’ll see how it unfolds.”Tom Thibodeau via SNY
Reddish welcomes the competition, but he’s as perplexed as the fan base is on the Knicks’ plans for him. He is extension-eligible, and the Knicks could use this season to evaluate him. But team president Leon Rose has given Thibodeau full autonomy to decide who’s going to play or not and who’s getting bigger minutes.
That leaves Reddish out in the cold as his former Duke teammate, Barrett, and Julius Randle are entrenched as the starting forwards, while Obi Toppin and Quentin Grimes figure to be ahead of him for a spot in the second unit.
“I’m still figuring that out. That’s actually a really good question. I’m still figuring that out, trying to find my role where I fit in. I’m really willing to do whatever it takes to win. Whatever that role is, whatever it may be, that’s fine with me. We’re winning, we all look good.”Cam Reddish during Knicks training camp
Reddish knows he can get a bucket and make plays. But it’s not enough to convince Thibodeau. Reddish knows how to get his ticket out of the dog house.
“Right now, it starts with defense. I can score. I’m not really too worried about that. I can make plays but just having a defensive presence is big time.”Cam Reddish during Knicks training camp
Reddish felt the trade request rumors are not fair. But life is unfair. It’s the biggest thing he’s learned in his first three years in the NBA.
He grew up in the basketball circuits with God-given gifts that he parlayed into a one-and-done season as blue blood. With his backs against the wall, it’s time for him to summon everything within him to avoid becoming the next Kevin Knox.
“I’ve been through a lot. So, I’m not really too fazed at all, to be honest.
I’m blessed. I’m in the NBA. I’m playing for the New York Knicks. I’m happy. I can’t really stress that enough but obviously everybody has tough times. No matter what your job is and it’s all about how you respond to it and get through it. I’m a believer in God. So, I’m good. I’m alright.”Cam Reddish during Knicks training camp
Now it’s time for Reddish to put his faith into action to get him where he wants to go.
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