Cam Reddish: Hustle
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.
Much has been made about Reddish’s low effort plays and whether or not his motor will allow him to succeed at the next level. While he isn’t attacking each possession with Dennis Rodman-like ferocity, his motor is a little bit better than advertised. He is very willing to push back in transition and present a challenge to opposing ball handlers and will use his length and quickness to make life difficult when defending on the ball. He does have stretches of the game where he can fade into the background and generally makes a lower impact on the game than someone with his abilities should, but the death of Cam Reddish’s motor has been greatly exaggerated. That being said, he still needs to make massive improvements to his overall engagement because, as it turns out, playing hard is important.
Whether it is because he is coached to be the first line of defense against opposing transition opportunities or because he isn’t an effective crasher, Reddish makes little impact on the offensive glass. He is a very perimeter-oriented player who usually spends his time relocating for kick outs while bigs are on the boards. Though he has the size of a wing, he has shown much more of a guard’s skill set when hunting for rebounds, collecting only long boards on rare occasions.
He doesn’t have good defensive rebounding numbers and even the advanced stats don’t avail him as a quality contributor in this arena, but Reddish still might be able to contribute on the defensive glass. Playing alongside Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and bigs like Javin DeLaurier and Marques Bolden, all of whom are NCAA glass eaters, doesn’t leave many opportunities for him to make an impact. But at 6’7” with a 7’1” wingspan, he should still be able to contribute some defensive boards. In his pre-Duke film, he showed the ability to jostle for room (even going up a position) and box out effectively while fighting for boards. He will need to revert to those fundamental principles at the NBA level as he lacks the true explosiveness to be an apogee rebounder among NBA wings.
A good ball handler who isn’t afraid to push the ball into the teeth of the defense, Reddish is very capable of making good reads and dishing the ball off to trailers and spot-up shooters. He hasn’t quite gotten comfortable with taking the ball himself, but will still challenge defenders and draw a foul on occasion. While he has been touted for his handling ability, his best role at an NBA level will likely be filling lanes and spotting up for three since he isn’t quite the elite ball handler or creator who thrives in transition opportunities. As a change of pace, his ability to push out ahead of the pack and make a play will fit in nicely on an up tempo team.
Reddish is a better transition defender than he might first appear to be. He is coached to be the first player back and does a fairly decent job defending the point of attack. He can handle the weak side rotations and is good at challenging ball handlers and taking away the path of least resistance. Provided he is the first or second man back for the Blue Devils, he can make a decent impact. However, the later his arrival, the less likely he will make a positive impact on transition opportunities, often struggling to find someone to cover and leaving gaps for secondary options trailing the ball. His problems in this area are largely fixable, but they tie-in innately with his off-ball defensive IQ, an area he has to focus on refining early.