NBA Rumors: New York Knicks Are ‘Fans’ Of This Top Draft Prospect, Per Ian Begley

RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish, and Javin DeLaurier of the Duke Blue Devils celebrate during their Elite Eight game against the Michigan State Spartans in the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
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This year’s NBA Draft Lottery is less than a week away, and the New York Knicks are one of three teams that have the best possible chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick in next month’s draft. While Duke forward Zion Williamson has often been mentioned as the most likely candidate to get selected with the top pick, a new report claims that some people within the Knicks’ organization are particularly interested in one of his teammates — forward/guard Cam Reddish.

On Tuesday, Ian Begley of SportsNet New York wrote that there are some Knicks “talent evaluators” who are “fans” of Reddish, a 6-foot-8-inch freshman who starred alongside Williamson as Duke made it to the Elite Eight in this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Unlike Williamson, who had gaudy stats in several categories, Reddish averaged 13.5 points per game for the Blue Devils, but shot only 35 percent from the field and, as Begley pointed out, didn’t shoot well either from three-point range.

At the moment, two of Cam Reddish’s teammates — Williamson and R.J. Barrett — are among the three players expected to be selected in the top three of this year’s draft, with Murray State point guard Ja Morant also included in that group of top prospects. As such, Begley noted that Reddish will likely be picked outside the top three, while the Knicks are guaranteed to end up with no less than the fifth overall selection.

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Despite Reddish’s shooting struggles, Begley added that the unnamed Knicks officials who see potential in the 19-year-old freshman star believe that his game could “[translate] well” to the NBA. On the other hand, the SportsNet New York contributor cautioned that it’s far from guaranteed that the Knicks will draft Reddish if they end up with the fourth or fifth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, which is scheduled to take place June 20. He added that there will likely be “plenty of speculation” over whether the Knicks will use their first-round pick as trade bait should they make an attempt to acquire New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis.

Meanwhile, Begley also hinted that the New York Knicks could theoretically draft Morant if they get the second pick in the NBA Draft Lottery, given that his college coach, Matt McMahon, recently said that his star point guard could be a good fit in New York. But with the Knicks widely expected to pursue Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving in free agency, Begley speculated that the team could “go in a different direction” and draft someone else if they find themselves picking second overall next month.