We’re exactly 14 days away from the drawing of the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery, but a few experts have recently come to an agreement regarding the New Orleans Pelicans first round pick — Cam Reddish out of Duke University.
The David Griffin-led front office has a near 26.3 percent chance of moving up into one of the top four slots of the 2019 NBA Draft, but if that fails to materialize, the odds are solid (almost 20%) that they’ll maintain their current position of seventh overall. If that’s the case, both Sam Vecenie of the Athletic and Sean Deveney of the Sporting News have the Pelicans selecting the 6’8 freshman forward, who was usually forced to stay in the shadows of teammates Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett.
On the season, Reddish averaged 13.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 threes and 1.6 steals, but his field goal percentages inside and outside the three-point arc were worrisome (39.4 2FG% / 33.3 3PT%).
After going over several of Reddish’s negatives such as his poor shooting numbers and a below average dribble handle, Vecenie discussed why the Pelicans should still look his way.
At the end of the day, though, NBA teams should probably bet on his talent. It’s rare for players to have this type of ball skill at his size. Reddish would represent an upside play for the Pelicans, who need more front court/wing creators around Jrue Holiday as they begin their rebuild.
Deveney didn’t go into any detail about Reddish’s weaknesses, but remains a believer in his talent level despite the somewhat disappointing season and considering the rest of the names in this draft.
The Pelicans, too, are in for a major makeover this offseason and figure to have a much-altered lineup, perhaps even before the draft. Reddish is an upside pick, a guy who never got into a rhythm with his shot this year at Duke but still has too much talent to slip too far in the draft.
New Orleans has yearned for a small forward with upside who fits the modern high paced, three happy shooting landscape for far too long. Although Reddish has his drawbacks, please remember that this particular draft is not filled with obvious stars beyond Zion and likely Ja Morant. Taking a stab on a flawed but laden with potential player will be required.
If you may recall, Cam was widely considered a top five selection just this past fall — oftentimes a top three pick — in the upcoming 2019 Draft. Today, he at worst projects to be a premium 3-and-D wing player in the league.
Stay tuned for our own scouting reports as well as a few mock drafts in the near future!