Cam Reddish looks the part of a future NBA star.
NBA talent evaluators are trying to understand why the 3-man didn’t play like one at Duke.
Athletically, the kid from Norristown, Pa. has the goods. The small forward measured 6-foot-8, 208 pounds at the NBA Combine with a wingspan just shy of 7-foot-1. He was described by a noted draft analyst during a post-Combine 1-on-0 workout with other prospects as the “most naturally gifted player,” on the court that session.
For a Wizards roster that lacks small forwards after trading Otto Porter and Kelly Oubre during the season and upside talent beyond guards Bradley Beal and John Wall, Reddish is the type of a prospect they should consider with the ninth overall pick.
The weird thing is he might be there despite spending nearly the entire college basketball rated among the top three prospects in the 2019 NBA Draft class along with Duke teammates, Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett.
In a draft limited with standouts at the top, everyone wants to believe Reddish is worthy of a very early selection. Those that watched him regularly at Duke and are trained to focus on traits beyond highlight-reel moments a player with his physical tool can pull off were left wanting.
“He had an unproductive season,” ESPN draft analyst Jonathan Givony told NBC Sports Washington at this month’s Combine. “You can’t sugarcoat what he did.”
Reddish, 19, averaged 13.5 points at Duke. That ranked third behind Williamson and Barrett, who each dropped 22.6 per game. Reddish's other statistics were the issue.
This wasn’t a typical Duke squad loaded with perimeter shooting threats so Reddish’s 33.3 percent on 3-pointers wasn’t particularly jarring. That he shot only 39.4 percent on 2-point attempt “is one of the brightest red flags you’ll find,” Givony said.
Here’s another: Reddish’s performance efficiency rating (PER) of 13.6 didn’t just rank far behind Williamson (40.8) and Barrett (23.3). According to Givony, it’s lower than any college player projected to get drafted this year. Reddish also finished with more turnovers (96) than assists (70).