Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Cam Reddish trade: Knicks land wing from Hawks for Kevin Knox II, protected 2022 first-round pick, per report

The New York Knicks are acquiring forward Cam Reddish from the Atlanta Hawks in a trade, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. In return, the Knicks will send the Hawks a protected 2022-first round pick, via the Charlotte Hornets, plus forward Kevin Knox II. New York will also receive veteran forward Solomon Hill and a 2025 second-round pick, via the Brooklyn Nets, in the deal. 

The protected first-rounder is the one that the Knicks acquired from Charlotte in exchange for the pick that became Kai Jones. It is protected top 18 in 2022, top 16 in 2023 and top 14 in 2024 and 2025. After that, the pick will convey as two second-rounders (2026, 2027).

Reddish, 22, is eligible for a contract extension this summer. He wanted an increased role and the Hawks wanted a pick that could help them in future deals, per ESPN. This season, he is averaging 11.9 points on 53.7 percent true shooting, plus, 2.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.0 steals in a career-low 23.4 minutes, with a 22.3 percent usage rate. 

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Knox, 22, will be a restricted free agent in the summer, with a qualifying offer of $7.9 million. He has been largely an emergency option for Tom Thibodeau’s coaching staff this season. 

Atlanta is a disappointing 17-23, with the third-worst defense in the NBA, after making the conference finals last season. “Maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to bring everybody back,” general manager Travis Schlenk said in a recent radio interview

Even before the Hawks underperformed, though, Reddish was a popular trade candidate, simply because it would be difficult for the front office to pay everybody. Forward De’Andre Hunter will be extension-eligible at the same time as Reddish, and the extensions that Trae Young and Kevin Huerter have already signed will kick in next season. Nobody likes to lose young talent for nothing, and having a small army of young guys fighting for minutes and touches can create chemistry problems, so a “consolidation trade” — i.e. packaging multiple good players for a better one — has long seemed like a logical way to go. This is not that, exactly, but only because we don’t know what comes next.

If the Hawks end up packaging this pick with Hunter or Huerter (or Bogdan Bogdanovic or John Collins or Clint Capela or Danilo Gallinari or Onyeka Okongwu, in theory), then they will have effectively pulled off a consolidation trade. They will have just executed it in two parts.

There is no guarantee, however, that Atlanta will make any more moves before the Feb. 10 deadline, or that it will have the best offer on the table when the next superstar bidding war takes place. All this does is give the Hawks flexibility and, in the short term, allow them to spread Reddish’s minutes and usage around. It also ensures that they will be paying close attention to Charlotte’s record for as long as they own this protected pick.

It is fair to wonder if Atlanta could have gotten more for Reddish had they waited until closer to the deadline. If the Knicks see upside in Reddish, they are surely thrilled to have acquired him without surrendering any of the young players currently in their rotation. While Knox is worth a shot as a “second draft” guy, this deal would look better for the Hawks with Obi Toppin or Quentin Grimes in it. 

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