2019 NBA draft prospects in this class may not be more polarizing than Duke’s Cam Reddish. He had a tumultuous freshman year at Duke, but the talent we have seen in flashes, and in AAU and high school before Duke offers hope for the young wing. The numbers tell a story of an unimpactful player on both ends who excelled at virtually nothing. The eye test shows glimpses of a high-level talent with dribble moves and the ability to shoot in multiple ways on the floor.
For Reddish, the truth is likely somewhere in between for now. With plenty of reasons for both concern and optimism, it makes sense that people are running with both sides and causing a large rift in opinion. That said, let’s dive into Cam Reddish’s pro prospects for the 2019 NBA Draft.
Very impressive sequence from Cam Reddish pic.twitter.com/XYkFKElZRY
— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) June 13, 2019
Coming into college, Cam Reddish was billed as an elite scorer who could get buckets from anywhere on the floor. Yet and still, the most polished aspect of his game was on the defensive side. Reddish showed the ability to make plays on the defensive end of the floor, with an impressive 2.9 STL% and 2.1 STL per 40 minutes.
Along with that, Reddish displayed his ability to utilize his quick feet and length to suffocate opponents on the ball. The combination of athletic tools and defensive IQ offers serious upside on the end of the floor. He will need to get stronger to become a more physically imposing defender, particularly in the NBA. However, Reddish has a terrific defensive foundation to work with.
There is a degree of seemingly natural skill that Cam Reddish possesses. It is hard to quantify. It typically manifests itself in flashes and glimpses, particularly at such a young age, and offers hope for what can come.
In high school and in AAU, Reddish displayed a caliber that was simply far too great for his peers. He dominated games; scoring off the dribble, from deep, and at the rim at will. At Duke, we saw glimpses of that caliber- albeit, few and far between.
The fact of the matter is that Cam Reddish has shown his potential. Reddish has displayed shot-making abilities, both off the dribble and off the catch. Reddish’s size, length, and mobility paired with the dribble moves that he has displayed at times are a rare combination. The six times he shot 50% or greater from 3 (min 4 attempts) at Duke show his shooting potential. Reddish has made it clear that something is there, the key will be unlocking whatever that is. Teams amongst the top 10 of the 2019 NBA Draft will buy into this.
Cam Reddish snarl alert pic.twitter.com/nQ89Brwz9t
— Gabe (@AllDaySportTalk) May 31, 2019
The first glaring weakness is that Reddish simply does not excel at any one thing. Reddish seemingly has no bankable skill, and a wavering confidence level to go with it- a potentially disastrous mix. Part of this funnels into the idea of Reddish’s lack of consistency. As mentioned previously, the upside is there for the former Blue Devil, but he failed to put everything together on a consistent basis.
Reddish is also rather weak. On defense, he is easily moved around and controlled by stronger defenders. With the ball, he struggled to finish at the rim through contact- as he often tried to shy away or just simply looked outmatched. It feels natural that Reddish will put on strength in the NBA, but if he cannot utilize it in a functional way and improve his touch at the rim, it won’t matter a whole lot.
2019 NBA Draft Comparison
Sometimes Reddish can resemble a pre-injury Hayward. Crafty with a deceptive arsenal of scoring moves off the dribble and great size to boot. Other times, Reddish can look like Boston’s post-injury Hayward. Lost and overmatched on both ends of the floor. Much like we saw Hayward last season, Reddish too struggled with confidence- and it showed itself in his performances. However, it is fair to say that both players may be better than the last time we saw them. Big scoring wings who can, at times, prove to be killers from all around the floor. The skill is there- at this point, it’s just all about digging it up and putting it together.