The reduced role that Cam Reddish had with the Hawks before being traded to New York came about because he expressed a desire to be dealt over the offseason, head coach Nate McMillan told reporters, including Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link), before tonight’s game. Even though the team was beset by injuries and players in the league’s health and safety protocols, Reddish averaged a career-low 23.4 minutes per night in 34 games.
“This year, he made the decision during the summer that he wanted to go elsewhere and play somewhere else,” McMillan said. “So it was tough. It was tough for him to come in and he was a professional. He was a pro. He didn’t do anything through the media, he came in, he tried to work.
“A lot of you guys were asking why he wasn’t in the rotation or why we weren’t doing certain things, and it was we knew that this was something that wasn’t going to, he wasn’t probably going to end the season with us. Unfortunate. I think he has a lot of talent, great kid, and I wish him well. We had a conversation when it happened and he’s looking forward to the opportunity.”
There’s more from the Southeast Division:
- Kevin Knox, who was part of the Hawks‘ return for Reddish, has passed his physical and is eligible to play in tonight’s game against the Knicks, Spencer tweets.
- Rookie guard Jalen Suggs returned to the Magic’s lineup Friday night for the first time since fracturing his right thumb on November 29, per Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. Suggs, who got off to a slow start, called the injury “a blessing in disguise” after putting up 12 points, six rebounds and seven assists in a win at Charlotte. “It gave me time to sit back and reevaluate the things I was doing, the habits I had, change those to better ones and grow. I needed that,” Suggs said.
- Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma is firmly entrenched as a starter in Washington after coming off the bench for the Lakers the past two seasons, notes Jackson Filyo of NBA.com. Kuzma, who narrowly missed his first career triple-double this week, said he benefited from the lessons he learned in L.A. “I credit a lot of my success this season to the last two years, taking a seat and watching some great players play basketball and learning from them,” Kuzma said. “I just knew once I got traded, it was a golden opportunity for me to enhance my game and show everything I’ve learned and what I’m capable of with opportunity. I’m just showing that right now.”