Cam Reddish: Defense
Our scouting grades represent the composite opinion of at least three different scouts. Each category is graded based on how we view a player’s current ability level relative to NBA players at the same position (guard, wing, forward or big). A grade of 1 indicates replacement level, a grade of 5 indicates NBA average, and a grade of 10 indicates historically elite. Our composite scouting notes help provide context for our grades.
Reddish has the tools to be an effective on-ball defender. His long wingspan and active hands make it difficult for opponents to maintain control of their dribble. His solid lateral agility and impressive stride length allow him to contain players off the dribble. However, his initial reaction tends to be poor, leading to frequent touch fouls. He is also prone to falling for shot fakes. While developing into a stopper is likely not in his future, this area won’t be a weakness for him at the NBA level.
Reddish’s off-ball defense is a mixed bag. On the one hand he uses his length effectively to deny his man the ball, and he puts forth effort to stay attached as well. On the other, his poor reaction time shows up again here, often falling a step behind the play if his man makes a decisive cut or sprints off of a screen. He also has a tendency to leave his feet when closing out to shooters, leaving him vulnerable to shot fakes. He needs to learn to maintain awareness of his man while he tracks the on-ball action, rather than getting tunnel vision and reacting late to movement.
Reddish has the size and quickness to be an effective help defender but, like most aspects of his game, you have to take the good with the bad. He does a good job of impacting passing lanes, with his long arms enabling him to deflect and steal passes. He has a knack for jumping lazy passes and is a speedy dribbler who can go from defense to offense before opponents realize he has the ball. He is also smart at identifying ball reversal situations and can deny or tip a lot of passes which would put pressure on the rotating defense. However, he struggles to recover to his man effectively, often putting himself at a disadvantage by biting on pump fakes or allowing opponents to blow by him.
Reddish has the size and length to guard multiple positions, though his good-but-not-great agility and strength do limit his range. Guards with a quick first step will be able to drive past him or set him up for a step-back, while strong big men will be able to establish deep position with relative ease. That said, he can effectively switch 2 through 4 in most situations and, at the very least, can use his long arms to deny the ball for a few seconds after a switch that puts him at a disadvantage.
High impact plays
Although Reddish tends to gamble in an effort to make high-impact plays, he has a better track record of success than most when doing so. His long arms and active hands enable him to be very disruptive both on and off-ball. He often reads the intentions of the ball-handler correctly and is able to position himself in the right spot to make the play and initiate a transition opportunity. While his motor can run hot and cold, he has a penchant for making plays that swing the momentum of a game when fully engaged.