The New York Knicks are expecting acquisition from the Atlanta Hawks, Cam Reddish, to be available against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night. Reddish has been dealing with an ankle injury the past few weeks, and with the Knicks currently on a three-game losing streak, they desperately need more support off the bench, especially without Derrick Rose and Kemba walker dealing with a left knee issue.
Reddish is a solid contributor, averaging 11.9 points, 2.5 rebounds, and shooting 30% from three-point range this season. He’s also posting a career-high 40% from the field and a 90% free-throw shooter. His offensive capabilities should assist New York exponentially in the future, but Tom Thibodeau isn’t ready to give him legitimate minutes just yet, forcing him to earn his playing time.
Fred Katz of The Athletic stated that Cam Reddish is ready to make a return, but Thibs isn’t going to simply give him minutes:
Thibodeau did caution that even though Reddish is healthy, he may not see a lot of minutes right away. Thibodeau said, “We have a rotation, so he has to be patient and work his way through that.”
The rotation has fluctuated tremendously this season, with rookie Quentin Grimes experiencing increased playing time recently. With Immanuel Quickley, Alec Burks, and Obi Toppin struggling to open the new year, the injection of Reddish should be a godsend, and Thibodeau needs to understand that he can be a catalyst off the bench. The team doesn’t typically feature small forwards, so having a versatile and aggressive player like Cam will be a benefit.
Thibodeau’s decision to ease him in makes sense, though, given he’s coming off an injury and doesn’t know the system and scheme just yet.
Julius Randle’s situation with the Knicks is getting murkier:
When the New York Knicks offered Julius Randle a four-year, $117 million extension, they expected him to be the face of the franchise and the player they could build around. So far this season, Randle is averaging just 18.8 points per game, more than five less than his All-Star performance last year.
Randle has gotten himself into peculiar situations with the fans and media, avoiding press conferences and cursing in a hostile manner. Julius has found the best way to alienate himself from the fan base in just a matter of weeks, and watching his three-point percentage plummet to 30.8% doesn’t help his cause either.
The Knicks recently held Randle out of a press conference after picking up a technical foul just before halftime against the New Orleans Pelicans, yelling obscenities toward the baseline referee. Thibodeau brushed it off and offered justification for the decision, but it was clear they were trying to avoid any more negative attention.
“I think the big thing is just be focused on the next game and winning,” Thibodeau told reporters after Saturday’s practice. “And that’s where we are. So, we felt the best thing for the team was to do that. So that’s what we’re gonna do. We’re always going to put the focus on that.”
The regression Randle has experienced this season has been dramatic — some are beginning to question if he can be the guy to build around.
A Western Conference scout told ESPN:
“They thought they had a guy they were going to be able to build around, and acted that way,” a Western Conference scout said. “It may not be the case.