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LeBron James Praises Former Blazers Forward Cam Reddish Following IST Championship

Reddish hit a few big buckets in the inaugural IST title game.

2023 In-Season Tournament Championship Game - Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

After winning the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James gave high praise to his teammate and former Portland Trail Blazers forward Cam Reddish.

Following L.A.’s 123-109 win against the Indiana Pacers in Las Vegas, James said he wanted Reddish to get the IST platform to showcase his skills to the country, according to Bleacher Report NBA reporter Chris Haynes.

People were writing him off. I’m so happy he got to experience this and perform. I believe in him.

Reddish scored nine points on 4-of-7 shooting in 33 minutes against Indiana, but seven of those points came in the game-deciding fourth quarter. One of those buckets included a clutch 3-pointer to fend off a Pacers rally with six minutes remaining. The 6-foot-7 forward also added three blocks in the win.

Reddish’s numbers don’t jump off the page in his first 19 games as a Laker: 7.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 31.4% shooting on 3-pointers. The lanky forward’s defensive activity has proved valuable though, as Reddish is averaging a career-high 1.4 steals per game and has made 12 starts for L.A.

The Trail Blazers acquired Reddish and a 2023 first-round pick from the New York Knicks in February, trading Josh Hart in return. That pick would eventually turn into the No. 23 selection in the draft, which Portland used to select 23-year-old forward Kris Murray out of Iowa. Reddish averaged 11 points and 2.9 rebounds in 20 appearances with the Trail Blazers. After Portland didn’t extend Reddish a qualifying offer in the offseason, Reddish signed with the Lakers on a two-year contract worth about $4.6 million.

Reddish, just 24, is already in his fifth year in the NBA and playing for his fourth franchise.