We have our first trade of the deadline, and the patient New York Knicks — a weird thing to say, but they’ve been under Leon Rose — made a move.
Atlanta Hawks winger Cam Reddish is traveling to New York to reunite with former Duke teammate RJ Barrett in a trade that’s more about a future pick for Atlanta. Here’s how the reddish trade breaks down:
The Knicks receive: Cam Reddish, Solomon Hill (out for the season with a hamstring injury), a 2025 second-round pick (via Brooklyn)
Falcons receive: Kevin Knox, a protected first-round pick (via Charlotte)
Traditionally, this is a split of trade between winners and losers, but there are no serious losers in this deal. You could say Kevin Knox is, but he had fallen out of favor with Tom Thibodeau and he will at least have a clean slate and a chance with Nate McMillan. If Knox can prove to be a highly effective shooter — and he was nowhere near that in New York, making just 35.7% of his shots this season — he can help his stock.
Solomon Hill is no loser in this; he was already out for the season with a hamstring injury. Perhaps the biggest loser will be the Pelicans, who will now feel the “Zion is coming to New York” train gaining momentum with two of his former Duke teammates on the Knicks.
So who were the winners?
WINNER: New York Knicks
The Knicks got the best player in that trade in Reddish. This is usually the sign of winning a trade.
New York lands a 6’8″ wing who can defend multiple positions, is shooting 38% on 3 this season and can put the ball on the ground and create his own shot. He too is only 22 years old, he is young and progressing, with a fairly high ceiling.
There are minutes to be had on the wing in New York (although things get crowded once everyone is healthy). Tom Thibodeau pitches RJ Barrett and Evan Fournier there, with rookie Quentin Grimes behind them (Ian Begley reports the Hawks wanted Grimes in the deal, but New York wouldn’t let him down, another reason it’s a win for the Knicks). None of the players on the Knicks roster have stepped up and looked irreplaceable on the wing (although Barrett has been on fire the last two weeks), now they’re bringing in a potentially better defender and someone who might fit. (Just ignore the rumors that Barrett and Reddish didn’t get along very well at Duke.)
Reddish is eligible for expansion after this season, and the going rate for starting 3&D wings is around $18 million per season. New York can try to work out a deal to keep Reddish this summer or let him go into restricted free agency in the summer of 2023 and then match any offer.
WINNER: Reddish Cam
Indistinguishable from a Hawks team deep in the wing, Reddish needed a fresh start and an opportunity, now he got one on a big stage (and Reddish always seemed to play a bit better on a big stage, think back to last year’s playoffs).
Reddish has shown real flashes in the ATL, but he needs to be more consistent, better and more focused on defense, and more effective on offense, to take the next step in his career (and get paid the way he wants). He’s averaging 11.9 points per game this season, but with a 53.7 true shooting percentage, just below the league average. Many of his stats are similar – good, solid, but closer to average than outstanding – and a few stats suggest he hasn’t played as well as he looks (estimated -3.4 +/- ).
New York is a fresh start and Reddish will get the minutes he craved. What he does with it is up to him.
WINNER: Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are deep on the wing: Bogdan Bogdanovic, De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Chaundee Brown.
With all those players — and knowing that a much bigger salary was coming for Reddish in a few years, the money Atlanta wasn’t sure they wanted to pay — the team could afford to trade Reddish and not not take a hit. This trade is a bet on Hunter, who the Hawks preferred as a defenseman on the wing, but now needs to stay healthy (he missed time this year with a wrist injury and played 35 games in total over the past two seasons).
Atlanta’s biggest prize in this deal is Charlotte’s first-round pick, but he’s a top-18 protege in 2022, top-16 protege in 2023, and lottery protege in 2024 and 2025. that pick could carry over into this next draft (Atlanta would pick 20th). The odds of LaMelo Ball and the Hornets missing the playoffs in consecutive years are unlikely, which means the Hawks will get their first-round pick.
Atlanta can take a free look at Knox before it hits the market. Plus, by trading Hill, the Hawks open up a spot on the roster, giving them options ahead of the trade deadline and buyout season.