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Revisiting our NBA comparisons: Cam Reddish

Cam Reddish's freshman season left many Duke fans disappointed.
Cam Reddish's freshman season left many Duke fans disappointed.

As the semester comes to a close so does the Cameron Crazies' time with most of their freshman core, as Coach K's one-and-dones will be declaring for the NBA draft to start their professional careers. In this series, I will look back at every player who declares, re-evaluate their preseason NBA comparison, provide my thoughts on their season, and make my own comparisons and predictions. Let’s continue on with Cam Reddish:

Preseason NBA comparison: DeMar Derozan 

My thoughts: I thoroughly disagree with this take. However, I can’t be too down on it considering I don’t think anybody predicted that 6-foot-8 Cam Reddish “with a 3-point shot and handles” would be reduced to a slightly above-average spot-up shooter, determined to earn an offensive foul almost every time he drove to the paint. Seriously, by the end of the season, he could’ve been averaging about two charges a game. 

Reddish’s season has not been kind to his draft stock—coming into the year projected to go top five in most if not all mock drafts, he has fallen to about seventh or eighth in those same forecasts. I’d describe watching Reddish this year as eerily bittersweet. As much fun it was to see Reddish hit clutch shots in games against Florida State and Central Florida, it was at times painful to watch a Duke game and realize 20 minutes in that Reddish was on the bench for Jordan Goldwire with three turnovers, zero points, zero assists and one rebound. Yes, this was a real halftime statline for Reddish against Wake Forest when Zion Williamson was out with injury.

Despite his poor play at time, Reddish’s size, defensive ability and tools to one day become a great basketball player have earned him some advocates.

Exhibit A: Chronicle beat writer Winston Lindqwister’s insistence that we stop overlooking Cam Reddish

Exhibit B: Skip Bayless’s praise of Reddish after missing Duke’s game against Virginia Tech.

Exhibit C: A popular Atlanta Hawks fan account that apparently wants their team to draft Reddish. Good luck Atlanta. 

While I may not necessarily agree with these takes, I do acknowledge that Reddish could make me eat my words one day as an NBA scoring leader or defensive stopper or something of the sorts if a team develops him the right way. Just look at this play showing his high potential.

That’s some Tre Jones level defense right there. From the bottom of my heart I truly do hope Reddish has a successful career in the NBA, but I’m still a little upset that I will never get to see peak #Camfam in a Blue Devil uniform.

Postseason NBA comparison: One thing I can’t take away from Cam is his knack for making shots in crunch time. I can’t stop thinking about J.R. Smith as a comparison to Reddish with his magician act of appearing when you need him most. So I’ll leave it at a taller J.R. Smith with a discount Kevin Durant as a ceiling. 


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