Knicks wing Cam Reddish says he didn’t request a trade this offseason, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter links), who points out that Marc Berman of The New York Post didn’t actually report that Reddish requested a trade, only that the 23-year-old preferred a change of scenery and a chance for a “bigger opportunity.”
That might seem like semantics, but there’s definitely a distinction between formally requesting a trade and what a player’s preference might be. Reddish only appeared in 15 games for the Knicks after they traded for him last season, averaging just 14.3 minutes per contest. When asked if the Knicks have made it clear what he needs to do to receive regular playing time, Reddish admits he isn’t sure.
“I’m still figuring that out. That’s actually a really good question,” Reddish said, per Ethan Sears of The New York Post. “I’m still figuring that out, trying to find my role where I fit in. I’m really willing to do whatever it takes to win. Whatever that role is, whatever it may be, that’s fine with me. We’re winning, we all look good.”
Considering his lack of a clear rotation role, Reddish was then asked if he wanted to stay with the Knicks, but gave a non-answer.
“I control what I can control,” he said. “So minutes and all that stuff have nothing to do with me. I just come in and do my job. Work as hard as I can every single day. I’m available, I’m healthy. So whatever happens, happens.”
For his part, head coach Tom Thibodeau was noncommittal about Reddish’s role, as Ian Begley of SNY.tv relays.
“The players are going to earn what they get. We have good depth (at wing). I can’t tell you right now who’s in the rotation, who’s not in the rotation,” Thibodeau said on Wednesday when asked if he thinks Reddish will be in the rotation this season. “That’ll be earned. And then if someone’s not in the rotation initially, doesn’t mean that they stay there.”
If he doesn’t receive a rookie scale extension before next month’s deadline, Reddish will be a restricted free agent in 2023 if the Knicks issue a qualifying offer.
Here’s more on the Knicks:
- Third-year forward Obi Toppin spent the offseason working on his jump shot and defense, Sears writes in another article for The New York Post. Toppin says he feels better about his perimeter defense heading into 2022/23. “Guarding guards like Jalen [Brunson], for instance, in pickup games here or guarding guards like Coby White in L.A. … helped me a lot,” Toppin said. “I feel like even if I can’t get down low, I have to find a way to stay in front of them, still contest their shots and make it hard for them to do things. I feel like I worked on that this summer and I’m a lot better now.”
- Thibodeau didn’t sound enthusiastic about having Toppin and Julius Randle share the frontcourt at times, Begley notes. The Knicks will “take a look” at the pairing during preseason, according to Thibodeau, who says the duo hasn’t been effective in practices over the past two years. As Begley observes, if Toppin and Randle don’t play much together, an increase in Toppin’s minutes will likely have to come at Randle’s expense — Randle has averaged 36.4 minutes per night over the past two seasons.
- Zach Braziller of The New York Post (members-only link) explores the pros and cons of who should start at shooting guard between Evan Fournier and Quentin Grimes. Braziller ultimately concludes that Grimes is the better fit due to his defense and upside, though he understands why Thibodeau values Fournier’s outside shooting and experience. Thibodeau considers Fournier the frontrunner for the job. Both players sat out today’s practice, per Begley (Twitter links). Grimes is considered day-to-day with left foot soreness, while Fournier has soreness after competing at EuroBasket. Neither issue is considered major.
- RJ Barrett showcased his ability get into the paint last season, but he needs to improve his finishing to take his game to the next level, Katz writes for The Athletic. Out of 44 qualifying players who took five-plus shots at the rim in ’21/22, Barrett ranked last in field goal percentage, Katz notes. According to DunksAndThrees.com, Barrett shot just 52% at the rim last season, which ranked in the ninth percentile of all players.