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Former Atlanta Hawks small forward Cam Reddish is getting a fresh start, but is it with the right team? The Hawks traded Reddish to the New York Knicks on Jan. 13 after reportedly talking to multiple teams over the last few months. The Duke product is now joining a New York squad that has had an up-and-down year, currently sitting at 21-21.

But of the teams that were reportedly interested in Reddish, the Knicks don’t have the situation that would have given him the best opportunity. Had he gone to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he would have been able to showcase his playmaking abilities on a team with a legit shot of going on a playoff run.

The Atlanta Hawks traded Cam Reddish to the roller-coaster New York Knicks

The Knicks needed to make a move to find the spark they have seemingly lost from last season. They are 21-21 and just can’t seem to string together a consistent run of strong basketball. So, New York decided to send Kevin Knox II and a top-18 protected first-round pick to the Atlanta Hawks for Cam Reddish, Solomon Hill, and a future second-round pick.

According to The Athletic, Reddish has wanted to become more of a playmaker, and on the Hawks, he has essentially just been a spot-up shooter. He has played in 23.4 minutes per game this season, averaging 11.9 points and shooting 37.9% from 3-point range. The Hawks have also likely had a difficult time giving Reddish the minutes he feels he deserves. Atlanta has several other wing players who are worthy of significant playing time in De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter, and Bogdan Bogdanovic.

But will Reddish have an opportunity to showcase his playmaking abilities on the Knicks? When healthy, New York has RJ Barrett, Evan Fournier, Kemba Walker, Derrick Rose, Alec Burks, and Immanuel Quickley along the perimeter. They are all averaging over 10.0 points. So, is there even room for him to play the role he desires?

That’s to be determined, but it’s easy to wonder whether he would have been a better fit on another team.

He missed out on going to the Cleveland Cavaliers

Former Hawks forward Cam Reddish, who was recently traded to the Knicks despite the Cavaliers also having interest.
Cam Reddish of the Atlanta Hawks during a game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Nov. 26, 2021. | Justin Ford/Getty Images

It appears the Knicks weren’t the only team interested in Cam Reddish.

According to The Athletic, the Hawks also reportedly talked to the Indiana Pacers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, and Los Angeles Lakers during the last several months. However, they were waiting for a first-round pick, and while LA reportedly offered two second-rounders, Atlanta eventually got a first from the Knicks, leading to the recent trade.

Of all the teams, though, niether the Lakers nor Knicks are the best opportunity for Reddish to play the role he believes he can become a star in. It would have been the up-and-coming Cavaliers, who are looking to turn into a true force in the Eastern Conference.

The Cleveland Cavaliers would have been the perfect destination for Cam Reddish

We all know the Cavaliers have their primary playmaker in Darius Garland. But they are pretty thin along the perimeter after him.

Following the season-ending injuries to Ricky Rubio and Collin Sexton, the Cavs have Cedi Osman (a spot-up shooter), Isaac Okoro (averages just 9.0 points), and Rajon Rondo, a great passer but not a consistent scoring threat.

Reddish would have filled a void for Cleveland and could have immediately become the Cavs’ second scoring option along the perimeter. He has shown glimpses of what he can do throughout his career, scoring 21 points in Game 6 of the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals and dropping 34 against the Orlando Magic in December. The No. 10 overall pick in 2019 just needed the minutes to prove it, and he would have received them in Cleveland, where he would have helped a team that’s 24-18 and No. 6 in the Eastern Conference.

All in all, Cam Reddish will get a chance to turn his career around on the Knicks. But he would have had a better opportunity had the Hawks sent him to the Cavs.

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference