The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...
2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Cam Reddish
Position: Small forward
Age: 19 (turns 20 in September)
Max vertical: N/A
2018/19 stats: 13.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.6 spg, 0.6 bpg, 35.6 FG% (4.3/12.0), 33.3 3PT% (2.5/7.4), 77.2 FT%
Player comparison: Andrew Wiggins, Kevin Knox
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 8th, NBADraft.net 10th, Bleacher Report 8th, Sports Illustrated 5th, Ringer 9th
5 things to know:
1. Reddish looks the part as a future NBA star given he is 6-foot-8, athletic and smooth. As far as the eye test goes, he passes it. But Reddish is maybe the most controversial prospect in this class because his production in college did not match. He often faded into the background as teammates Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett stole the show at Duke.
2. Even when Williamson went out due to injury, Reddish didn't exactly step up. He averaged 16.2 points, but shot only 35.5 percent from the field and 30 percent from three while Williamson was down. Many evaluators feel like Barrett helped his draft stock during that time, while Reddish went in the other direction.
3. The lack of efficiency may be the biggest red flag for Reddish. He shot an ugly 35.6 percent overall and 33.3 percent from three. This was despite him playing with two future top-five draft picks. He could have taken advantage of the attention they drew from opposing defenses, but was not able to. Reddish looks like he would be a good shooter, as he has smooth mechanics. But just because your shot looks good, doesn't mean it will go in at a high percentage. Just ask Russell Westbrook.
4. There are questions about Reddish's motor and mindset. Though the fact he often deferred to Williamson and Barrett could speak to his willingness to make sacrifices, teams are usually seeking a killer instinct in their top draft picks. And Reddish drew criticism for his passiveness on both ends. He has the potential to be a top-flight defender, which is why many have compared him to Paul George. But George is the defender he is not only because of his athleticism.
5. Reddish's father played in college at nearby VCU, where the Wizards used to hold their training camp as recently as 2017. The younger Reddish ended up going to Duke as the third-ranked player in his class, according to ESPN. He was a McDonald's All-American.
Fit with Wizards:
Reddish checks off several boxes when it comes to his potential fit with the Wizards. He plays small forward and the Wizards will probably need a few of those now that they have traded both Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr. and probably won't re-sign Trevor Ariza. Reddish would also offer them a high-upside player, which they lack.
Aside from John Wall and Bradley Beal, and despite the promise some of their young players have shown, no one else on their roster seems like a safe bet to be an All-Star someday. Reddish would give them a lottery ticket of sorts, the type of guy who could change the franchise if he reaches his ceiling.
Reddish, though, might present some of the same issues they had with Porter. Like Porter, he could struggle with getting his shots alongside Wall and Beal. Also, if the Wizards are ever going to win something of real consequence, they need a player or two who could someday surpass Wall and Beal. Porter was never able to do that and there are reasons to believe Reddish won't, either.
As far as small forwards go, both Barrett and De'Andre Hunter of Virginia may be better options for the Wizards. They seem like sure-bets and each offer something the Wizards are missing. But if both are gone, Reddish could very well be the best option.
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