NBA Draft Prospects: Cam Reddish

Cam Reddish was largely a disappointment this year, but his length and scoring ability will make him a lottery pick.

Despite being a top recruit with all the tools to be an elite player, Cam Reddish had a disappointing year. Early this season, Reddish showed flashes that he could be the best Duke player in this draft. Unfortunately, these flashes didn’t produce long-lasting results and remained just flashes.

Even though Reddish had a tumultuous season, he remains a lottery talent. He has the foundation to be a versatile player with his shooting ability and length. The biggest concern with Reddish, even coming into last season, was his inconsistent effort. This was exacerbated as he was forced into the third offensive role that saw limited involvement. If a team can keep him engaged, I know how ridiculous that sounds, Reddish could be a late lottery steal.

Main Selling Point

Reddish’s main selling point is his potential two-way versatility. Reddish is known as a shooter, but he showed how deadly he can be with the ball in his hands as he was in the 96th percentile with 1.114 points per possession out of the pick-and-roll. He has no issues creating his own shot whether it is a pull-up jumper or slithering his way to the rim. He has an uncanny ability to create space when he has the ball or is moving without it.

On the defensive end, Reddish could be a very good defender. He has the length to guard multiple positions. His footwork lets him keep up with quicker guards and his length lets him compete with bigger opponents. When Reddish gets locked in, he can shut down almost any opponent on the floor.

Shot creation

Reddish’s ability to create his own shot is an incredible tool for a 6’8 wing with a 7’1 wingspan. Even though his release point is low, he uses his nimble footwork and length to shoot over opponents off the dribble. Last season Reddish was at his best when he was shooting off the dribble where he scored .903 points per possession (71st percentile), per Synergy. Team’s that make deep playoff runs typically have a wing that can create his own shot and that is exactly what Reddish can do.

In the below clip we see how Reddish easily dispatches his defender to create an open jumper. As Reddish’s defender comes off the screen, he uses a simple jab step to simulate a drive. This sends the defender towards the baseline and allows Reddish to take a dribble step-back to create a wide-open jumper.

Here we see a much more advanced move by Reddish to create space. He is going up against Nickeil Alexander-Walker who is a very good defender and does a good job of containing Reddish. Reddish’s drive is initially cut off, so he tries to spin back the other way. He immediately recognizes that this won’t work either so instead of forcing the drive, he uses his momentum to execute a strong step back to create enough space for a shot. This may seem like a fluky play, but it is a move that Reddish consistently showed off throughout the year.

Reddish doesn’t need much space to get his shot off with his quick release. All he needs is a bit of separation and he is happy to step into a jumper. He was shockingly effective shooting out of the pick-and-roll as the ball handler. When he used the screen to create space for a jumper last season, Reddish scored a gaudy 1.684 points per possession (99th percentile).

Below we see how confident Reddish is shooting out of the pick-and-roll. He does a great job of using a hesitation dribble that allows the screener to get set and impede Reddish’s defender. Reddish knows exactly the spot he wants to get to and doesn’t hesitate. He dribbles off the screen and steps into a relatively uncontested three before the help defender can properly rotate.

Inconsistent scorer

As much promise as Reddish has shown at creating his own shot, the results have been inconsistent. Reddish will likely be used as an off-ball shooter most of the time, but he has shown that he struggles in this role. His effort wanes and he struggles with any sort of consistency.

Reddish has shown proficiency at shooting off the dribble, but when he is in catch-and-shoot situations the results drastically change. In catch-and-shoot situations, Reddish scored only .847 points per possession (27th percentile). This is a major hole in Reddish’s game and something that he will need to work on if he wants to make a consistent impact.

In the below clips we see the negative results of Reddish shooting off the catch. When he shoots off the dribble Reddish can get into a rhythm, have his feet set, and keep fluid mechanics. We don’t see any of that here. In these clips, Reddish frequently rushes his release and struggles with getting his feet set.

Here we see how Reddish has the potential to be an effective driver. He has solid footwork and uses his length to avoid defenders at the rim. This aspect of his game is vital to his future development to ensure that he isn’t a one trick pony.

The issue is that Reddish really struggled to finish at the rim. In shot attempts around the rim last season, Reddish scored only one point per possession (29th percentile). This is an alarming number for a wing with Reddish’s length and athleticism. He needs to be a much better finisher around the rim. If he is unable to improve his touch and angles off the backboard, his offensive production will be very limited.


We are seeing more and more NBA offenses run through versatile wings. Any player on the floor is expected to be able to initiate the offense or at the very least not throw the ball away. Last season, Reddish really struggled to demonstrate any playmaking ability. He averaged only 1.9 assists per game while committing 2.7 turnovers. His ball handling is inconsistent, and he isn’t a great passer.

Here we see an inexcusable turnover due to Reddish’s careless ball handling. He initially does a nice job of identifying the driving lane and beating his initial defender. The issue is that he is recklessly dribbling the ball way out in front of his body. This allows the help defender to force a turnover with a simple poke at the ball. NBA defenders will eat him alive if he can’t tighten up his ball handling.

Again, we can see Reddish being careless with the ball. He again beats his defender and recognizes that he needs to pass out of a would-be difficult shot. He sees RJ Barrett rotating to the top of the arc but throws the pass well behind Barrett for a turnover. Instead of passing to where Barrett is going to be, Reddish passes to where Barrett was. This should be an easy pass that sets his teammate up for an open three, but instead, it results in an unnecessary turnover.

Defensive potential

Reddish is known for his offensive potential, but he has all the tools to be a very good defender. His size, agility, and length give him a great foundation that a lot of players aren’t blessed with. Reddish is at his best when he is playing on-ball defense. Last season we saw promising results that Reddish should be able to continue developing into a strong on-ball defender. When he was defending the ball handler in pick-and-roll situations he allowed only .72 points per possession (57th percentile) and .75 points per possession (54th percentile) when defending isolation plays. These numbers aren’t elite, but they are above average and an encouraging sign for his future defensive potential.

Similar to his offensive game, the issues arise when Reddish is away from the ball. He will frequently get caught ball watching and struggles to consistently stay with his man through picks. When Reddish was run through screens, he allowed one point per possession (30th percentile). NBA teams will target him with his inconsistent off-ball effort and run their shooters off numerous screens to discard Reddish.

Going Forward

Cam Reddish is one of the most polarizing prospects in this draft. Although his season was disappointing, he will still be a lottery pick that half the fan base will love while the other half immediately hates. Reddish will be used mostly as an off-ball scorer. He will need to improve his shooting off the catch and stay consistently involved. If the coaching staff can connect with Reddish, they could be able to ignite all the potential that is building inside Reddish.

Reddish likely won’t be an All-Star, but if he improves his involvement level, he could be a really good third or even second option for a team. His ability to create his own shot is impressive and his physical tools should make him an average defender at worst.

I have a lot of concerns about how hard Reddish is willing to work. At Duke, being the third option did not fit him well, and that will be his role in the NBA. He has a ton of potential to be a two-way wing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is just a long-time rotation wing that bounces around the league.

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