The Portland Trail Blazers are sliding in the Western Conference standings, but new Portland forward Cam Reddish is on a roll. In a recent piece for The Oregonian, reporter Aaron Fentress writes how Reddish has been one of the few bright spots for Portland since arriving at the NBA trade deadline.
Reddish, 23, was dealt to Portland from the New York Knicks on Feb. 8 after an unsuccessful stint in the Big Apple and an underwhelming two and a half seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. The 2019 lottery pick had completely fallen out of New York’s rotation prior to the trade.
Now, in eight games with Portland, Reddish is playing (27.6 minutes per game) and producing, averaging career-highs in the small sample size and showing promise. In Portland’s last game against Atlanta, Reddish put up 25 points on 9-17 shooting from the field (4-9 3PT FG) against his former team.
In eight games with the Blazers, Reddish is averaging 14.1 points per game while shooting a career-best 47.7% from the field. He’s also shooting 37.3% on threes, well above his career average of 32.7%.
Reddish never clicked like this with the Hawks (he shot 38.5% in three seasons) or the Knicks (he fell out of the rotation in early December), leading to both franchises trading him away. But now he’s with the Blazers, who hope the former Duke star develops into an impact player.
Reddish said in Atlanta that he loves the environment of his new team.
“Outside of us losing, I’m happy,” Reddish told reporters. “I’m enjoying basketball again and it’s honestly a blessing. It wasn’t always like that.”
Reddish is Portland’s second trade deadline acquisition this season to make the most out of more minutes in a new situation. Fellow forward Matisse Thybulle — playing well after falling out of the rotation with the Philadelphia 76ers — also said the switch to Portland has done wonders for his confidence. While Reddish doesn’t have the elite defensive skills of Thybulle, he’s displayed solid offensive creation skills complemented by his size and length at 6-foot-8. Offensive creation off the bench has been sorely needed for Portland this season.
The play of Reddish and Thybulle is making Portland’s trade deadline moves look slightly better in the rearview mirror, not as home run hits, but as decent buy-low swings. Both forwards are playing well enough to warrant consideration for spots on the roster after this season.