The New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks connected via trade on Thursday afternoon, as rumors suggested earlier in the week. New York was linked to Cam Reddish of Atlanta, who have been seeking an expanded role and a chance to earn an extension in the future.
ESPN Sources: The Atlanta Hawks are trading forward Cam Reddish to the New York Knicks for a deal that includes a protected 2022 first-round pick via Charlotte. Knicks also acquire Solomon Hill and a 2025 second-round pick via Brooklyn in trade.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 13, 2022
Despite limited minutes, Reddish has had a solid season, averaging 11.9 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 38% shooting from three-point range. At 22 years old, Reddish was once considered a potential prospect for the Knicks, but they elected to stay put and draft RJ Barrett out of Duke.
Both Barrett and Reddish attended Duke simultaneously, but according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, they weren’t exactly friends. However, they will team up in New York and look to build upon their collegiate success.
Looking at Reddish’s statistics, he has experienced a tremendous uptick in three-point efficiency, improving by 11% this season from 26% shooting last year. To justify that his numbers have grown sufficiently, he’s attempting 4.5 shots per game, compared to 4.8 last season, so clearly, he experienced some lucrative development this past off-season.
It will be interesting to see how Tom Thibodeau includes him in their strategy as a primary forward. The Knicks don’t often use small forwards, but Evan Fournier is capable of playing the position if need be. The primary forward rotation involves Julius Randle and Obi Toppin, so Reddish will have to find a way to make an impact. He’s currently averaging 23.4 minutes per game, and while we might see a down-turn after the transition, it should hover around that average for the rest of the season.
In the deal, the Knicks also acquired Solomon Hill and a 2025 second-round pick via Brooklyn in the trade. The Knicks also gave up Kevin Knox, who is in the final year of his rookie contract and was destined to leave anyway. The Knicks had to move Knox to open up a roster spot, so Atlanta likely took him on to process the deal.
The Knicks walk away with a tremendous haul by most accounts without giving up too much. Of course, the first-round pick via Charlotte is valuable, but Reddish has one more year on his rookie deal at $6 million and a qualifying offer of $8 million for the 2023–24 season. It is possible they use Reddish as a trade piece in the near future to acquire a more prominent name that can contribute more, but for the time being, he can offer the Knicks more physicality inside plus improved 3-PT shooting.
Objectively, New York gains a true and tried player who can contribute regularly for an unknown draft pick and Knox. New York already has too many young players on the roster to host another two first-round draft selections. This was a win-win for the Knickerbockers.