The most forgotten Duke basketball star: Cam Reddish

Former Duke basketball one-and-done Cam Reddish, now with the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Former Duke basketball one-and-done Cam Reddish, now with the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Remember, former Duke basketball one-and-done Cam Reddish still has all the tools to become a great player in the NBA.

The 2018-2019 Duke basketball roster is one of the best college teams on paper. Not only did Duke have the No. 1 recruiting class, but the Blue Devils were able to land the No. 3 point guard (Tre Jones) in addition to the No.1 shooting guard (RJ Barrett), small forward (Cam Reddish), and power forward (Zion Williamson). We were all swept off our feet from the amazing play of Zion and RJ, but let’s not forget about Cam.

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Reddish didn’t have the best career in his sole season at Duke. To be honest, he was quite inconsistent. He would show glimpses of greatness, like his performance against Florida State, dropping 23 points, along with the game-winner. Then he followed that performance with nine points on 25 percent shooting from the field against Virginia. Although this wasn’t a good sign from a high potential player, Duke fans and basketball fans just got used to it.

Fast forward to the 2019 NBA Draft. Cam Reddish fell into the hands of the Atlanta Hawks. In an amazing situation, basketball fans were eager to see how successful Cam would be in the NBA.

The rookie didn’t start the season necessarily well. In November, Reddish was only shooting 32 percent from the field and 28 percent from 3-point range. The inconsistencies we saw in college seemed to have followed him to the NBA, which had basketball fans already proclaiming him as a bust.

One thing we’ve learned from watching young players, though, is to never get our expectations up so quickly. NBA players such as Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, and Draymond Green are a set of late bloomers. These players are perennial All-Stars but were not the greatest players in their first few years in the league. Using their careers as an example, Reddish has more than enough time to prove that he can be great.

Reddish was on his way to finishing the season very strongly as well. In the last few games of the season before the cancellation, he was averaging 17.3 points per game on 54 percent shooting from the field and 51 percent shooting from beyond the arc. He was finally making the adjustment to the fast-paced style of the NBA, and it was evident from his performance.

Reddish has the perfect tools for an elite wing in the NBA. He’s got the size every GM drools over. He’s 6-foot-8 and has a 7-foot wingspan. He has the agility and length to be a quality defender, but it’s just up to him to put the work in and play defense. The potential is there for Cam to be a great player, but the work is going to be needed to get there.

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Cam Reddish is a talented player, no doubt about it. His skills and abilities to impact the game are there as well. The next step is to be able to assert his dominance in any given moment. Once he’s able to do that, watch out. Cam might be the most forgotten star from the 2018-2019 Blue Devils team, but he still has time to write the narrative of his NBA career. A career that looks like it’s going to be a very good one.

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