Knicks refuse to play Cam Reddish, but what do they have to lose?

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The New York Knicks are staring an ugly situation in the face after losing six of their last seven games. Their only victory in the past week has been against the Los Angeles Clippers. Falling to the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, and Cleveland Cavaliers consecutively has demoralized the team.

Just a few weeks ago, the Knicks acquired Cam Reddish via the Atlanta Hawks, giving up a first-round pick via Charlotte for the 2022 NBA draft. However, Reddish has failed to make an impact after departing from Atlanta on January 10. During his two appearances for the Knicks, he has recorded a combined eight points and four rebounds, playing just 15 minutes.

Reddish previously asked Atlanta for a potential move looking to earn more playing time and a greater opportunity. However, Reddish has found himself in an even worse spot than he started, riding the bench with no end in sight as Tom Thibodeau prefers to roll with his current group of players.

“Everything was discussed. We like who he is. We like the talent,” Thibodeau said when asked about Reddish following the game Friday, via Pete Botte of The Post. “And right now — it’s a long season. We knew we traded someone who wasn’t in the rotation, so you can’t keep adding to it without taking someone out. We can have injuries, so just have to be patient and work our way through it.”

Thibodeau indicated that the front office liked Reddish and what he offers, but the fact he’s not getting involved given the Knicks’ awful streak lately is disappointing. In fact, it suggests they either don’t know how to use him or prefer to give minutes to their younger players who have been around up to this point.

If the front office truly believed he could make a difference winning basketball games, he’d be on the floor, but instead, he’s watching aimlessly from the sideline.

Reddish is averaging 11.5 points, 1.1 assists, and shooting 37.6% from three-point range on the season. It is obvious he doesn’t fully understand the team’s offensive strategy and defensive communications. However, even after half a season, the Knicks’ tenured players are still lost in transition and lack efficiency. For example, there may not be a significant drop-off from Reddish compared to Evan Fournier.

The reality is simple — when your team is losing at a rate of six of seven games, there’s no harm in testing out a newly acquired player and seeing if he can make an impact over a larger sample size. Playing 10 minutes doesn’t exactly provide much time to get in a groove, and Reddish recorded six points against Miami with that exact time frame.

Alternatively, the Knicks may be trying to limit his minutes in a potential trade at the deadline. After giving away a first-round draft pick, Reddish could easily be flipped in a more prominent deal.

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