Schlenk: Rookie Reddish 'Highest Ceiling' on Hawks

Dukes & Bell
January 30, 2020 - 7:36 pm
Atlanta Hawks guard Cam Reddish

© Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

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Most of the accolades – and rightfully so – this season have been lauded on point guard Trae Young. He's a human highlight reel, can shoot from two counties away and was named to the All-Star starting five for the Eastern Conference.

The Hawks' future, however, doesn't lie solely in Young's hands, general manager Travis Schlenk told Dukes & Bell on Thursday at State Farm Arena.

"Of all the guys on our roster, I think he [Cam Reddish] has the potential with the highest ceiling," Schlenk said about the rookie from Duke. "I say that for a lot of different reasons.

"First of all, just the size. Of all our young guys, at 6-foot-8, 6-foot-9 he's the largest for his position. His defensive versatility we can put him on point guards, and you guys have seen that this year, and with his length and his 7-foot wingspan. Just his fluidity, athletically being able to navigate around screens. And he's youngest of all of them too at 2 years old."

Schlenk wasn't done. He expanded on his praise for Reddish.

"His ability to handle, his ability to pass, the shot is coming along," Atlanta's GM said. "He's going to be a good shooter in the NBA. He might not ever be Steph Curry-good, but you're going to have to guard him out there. And we've seen that. I think I saw a stat the other day: In October, even though it's only a few games he was like 5 percent from 3, and then it was 20 percent in November. And then it was 30 percent in December, and for the month of January he's shooting 40 percent from 3.

"So we're seeing like we saw with Trae [Young] last year as he gets more confident, more comfortable, his percentages are going up."

Schlenk told Dukes & Bell that Reddish had alway been bigger than everyone growing up. He experienced that in high school and at Duke for a season.

"So learning how to finish with contact, how to finish over bigger guys, around bigger guys," Schlenk said about Reddish adapting to the size in the NBA. "And we're starting to see that become better. We're really pleased with the growth we've seen from the start of the season until now. And we think there's a lot more to come with him."

Patience was another key Schlenk hammered into Dukes & Bell. Reddish missed Summer League with a groin injury. So the Hawks are bringing Reddish along slowly.

"It doesn't make any sense to run him out there his first training camp, first preseason and run him into the ground," said Schlenk. "He's a kid we see that could have a 10-15 year career for us. So we're going to be careful with him at the early going. But I think we're all starting to see the flashes of what he could be, and the kid wants to be good too. So, he's working. He feels good about the improvements he seen in his games. We're really excited about Cam's future."