The Lakers have been linked with Cam Reddish going all the way back to the 2019 draft, including making efforts to acquire him at the last two trade deadlines. Well, they finally got their man, as after the Portland Trail Blazers declined to even tender Reddish a qualifying offer that would have made him a restricted free agent, the Lakers are signing him in NBA free agency.
Brad Turner of the LA Times was the first to report the news:
Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul and agent Josh Hairston have agreed to a multi-year deal for Cam Reddish to join the Lakers.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) July 1, 2023
The Los Angeles Lakers and Cam Reddish agreed to a two-year, $4.63 million deal, which includes a player option Year 2, league sources told @hoopshype.— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 1, 2023
Reddish’s deal is for the veteran’s minimum. https://t.co/LnSSSlUXqi— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) July 1, 2023
Reddish is the latest relatively young Klutch Sports client to attempt to rehabilitate their value on the Lakers after a rocky start to their career in recent years, following in the footsteps of Lonnie Walker IV (2022), Kendrick Nunn (2021) and Montrezl Harrell (2020).
The reason Reddish is available to the Lakers, though, is that aforementioned turbulent first four seasons. To put it kindly, Reddish has disappointed since being taken 10th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, being traded by the Atlanta Hawks to the New York Knicks for a first-round pick, but never could crack their rotation before being dumped to the Trail Blazers as salary ballast in the Josh Hart trade along with a lottery-protected first-round pick that Portland ended up using to select Kris Murray 23rd overall.
In short, he has not been viewed as a positive asset for his teams in a while (which is fair, as he’s never shot above 45% from the floor, and his teams have been outscored by 14 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor over the course of his career).
However, as an athletic, 6’8 wing who was the second-ranked player in his 2018 recruiting class and taken in the top 10 of the draft in 2019, he was always going to get (at least) one more shot to see if he can make it work in the NBA, and he has a lot of the pedigree and characteristics the Lakers have looked for in previous reclamation projects.
Will all of it come together and allow him to finally live to up to some of the promise he showed pre-NBA? Reddish’s career so far indicates the odds are probably against that, but presumably for the cost of only the veteran’s minimum and a roster spot, seeing if he can reach his full potential as part of the best team he’s ever played with and under the tutelage of player development guru Phil Handy is still a fine gamble.
The Lakers have had success on such so-called “second draft guys” before — Malik Monk, Rui Hachimura, etc. — and through that lense, Reddish is worth a shot.
This breaking news story may be updated with more information and analysis as it continues to develop. For all the latest on NBA free agency, check out our Silver Screen and Roll Lakers free agency rumors tracker. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.