The NBA season is only two weeks in, and yet here we are already discussing the upcoming 2019 draft class. Alas, it does feature a few potential ‘generational talents’, with Duke F Zion Williamson already drawing LeBron James comparisons with his massive frame, and fellow Duke Blue Devil R.J. Barrett seemingly locked on top of everyone’s big boards, but the third member of that team is who excites me the most as a New York Knicks fan.
A 6’9, 218 pound wing player, Cam Reddish averaged 28.4 PPG, 6.9 RPG, and 4.2 APG at Westtown High School. He has all the tools necessary in order to be a top player in the NBA. Not only does he boast a 7’1 wingspan, but he is extremely quick with the ball in his hands, as well as on defense. But perhaps what separates him from the rest of the pack is his exquisite playmaking abilities, which makes him a truly all-around player. It’s really hard to find flaws in this kid’s game, which is why everyone has him going in the top five in next year’s draft. A team like the Knicks, with a coach in David Fizdale who has been promoting “position-less basketball” since his arrival in the Big Apple, cannot pass up on the opportunity to select Reddish if he is on the board.
Playing at Duke, next to other stars like Barrett and Williamson, should prepare Reddish quite nicely to playing on the world’s biggest stage, in the world’s most famous arena, next to already-made stars like Kristaps Porzingis and whatever max player the Knicks sign this offseason. There is no doubting his ability to play in any system he is inserted into, but very quickly the system could begin to revolve around him if he is able to reach his potential. With New York hitting a splash on their most draft selections, Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson, as well as the addition of undrafted rookie Allonzo Trier paying dividends already, it is hard to doubt this new front office.
As for Reddish, being not only a natural offensive creator, but also a menace on the defensive side of the ball, a potential pairing of him and Frank Ntilikina would make the Knicks a scary team to play against on any given day. This team as a whole is currently filled with players who are out to prove themselves, but also do it as a team, which Fizdale has endorsed. It is highly unlikely they will make it into the playoffs, but every player will get a chance to develop in preparation of *hopefully* a fully healthy 2019-2020 regular season. The Knicks are going to sign a top player in free agency, the appeal is just too much to cover up at this point. A young core of players, passionate and respected coach, a front office that has learned from it’s past woes and one that is focused on the future, it’s all there.
As for the Duke Blue Devils, they will be an extremely fun team to watch this season. Zion and R.J. will most likely have the attention of all the media, leaving Cam as the odd one out, which can be a blessing in disguise. Although I believe his skillset already surpasses that of Zion and is quietly approaching R.J.’s, his game on the court will do most of the talking.
Now all that if left is for the Knicks to continue on the path they are currently on, and this same time next year, they could very well be forecasted to not only be in the playoffs for the first time since 2013, but with the right acquisition in free agency, really make a push to beat the powerhouses of the East like Toronto, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee. It’s time to Make New York Great Again.