Begley's Mailbag: Update on Cam Reddish's trade status and Immanuel Quickley's role
SNY's Ian Begley will be responding to and breaking down answers to Knicks questions from readers. Here's the latest...
@__IamK: Can we get a legitimate answer, as to why Cam isn’t playing!?
It’s a fair question, Half-time. Cam Reddish was a DNP on Tuesday against Los Angeles – his 27th consecutive DNP.
The Knicks are 17-12 in that span. In some of those games, New York held a large lead late in the fourth quarter. Ryan Arcidiacono and Svi Mykhailiuk played in those scenarios. But Reddish remained on the bench.
Tom Thibodeau was asked about Reddish not playing late in the fourth quarter of blowout wins last month.
Thibodeau has given similar answers when asked about Reddish in the past.
I understand why Thibodeau doesn’t want to divulge every factor behind his decision to bench Reddish.
I also understand why fans want to know more about the decision.
The Knicks, you remember, traded a protected first-round pick and Kevin Knox – a former first-round pick – to land Reddish last January.
Reddish was mostly out of the Knick rotation after the trade. He played a total of 20 minutes in his first seven games with the club (he missed the first four games following the trade due to injury.)
As noted last season, Reddish’s initial usage led to frustration between the Knick front office and coaching staff.
Reddish eventually found a spot in the Knick rotation following a few injuries to Knick regulars.
The 23-year-old missed the final four weeks of the season due to a shoulder injury.
Reddish began the 2022-23 season as part of the Knick rotation.
He averaged 23 minutes per game in the first month of the season, playing in part due to an injury to Quentin Grimes.
Once Grimes returned to the regular rotation, Reddish’s minutes and role decreased.
He was out of the rotation by Dec. 4. That night, the Knicks beat the Cavs. It was the start of a season-altering eight-game winning streak.
At one point before that Dec. 4 game, Reddish expressed displeasure to a Knick assistant coach about the way Thibodeau was using him, per people familiar with the matter. Reddish has not played since he expressed that displeasure.
Does that factor in to why Thibodeau has kept Reddish out of the rotation? I don’t know the answer to that question.
The Knicks are 17-12 since Thibodeau removed Reddish, Derrick Rose and Evan Fournier from the rotation.
They were 10-13 prior to the rotation change.
So from a bottom-line perspective, they are a better team since Thibodeau altered the rotation.
But Reddish not playing garbage-time minutes is strange. It suggests that there are factors beyond basketball that lead to Reddish’s DNPs.
The aforementioned frustration between the front office and coaching staff over Reddish’s initial usage is worth noting here.
According to the New York Post, Thibodeau was not in favor of trading for Reddish. Could Reddish’s diminished role be a way for Thibodeau to show the rest of the organization that he can win without Reddish? To show that the front office’s trade for Reddish was a mistake?
Those are theories espoused by opposing teams when you ask about Reddish. Are they accurate? Only Thibodeau can say.
The Knicks are widely expected to trade Reddish prior to the Feb. 9 deadline. Reddish’s side expects him to be traded by the deadline and has no interest in the Duke product continuing to collect DNPs after the deadline if he is not traded.
If the Knicks move Reddish, it will be his second trade in a 13-month span. It would be surprising if the Knicks got a strong package in return for Reddish at this point. Teams know they are planning to trade him, so they aren’t incentivized to make big offers. And Reddish is entering restricted free agency.
So the Reddish acquisition will likely be a net negative for the Knicks.
@ToddyWoddy1330: Is the FO interested in trading for a traditional SF like OG Anunoby in order to move RJ back to his natural position of SG?
Logic says Grimes would be out of the starting lineup if the Knicks acquire Anonoby. As SNY reported earlier Wednesday, the Knicks communicated to the Toronto Raptors earlier this season that they were comfortable offering three first-round picks for OG Anunoby.
The conversation was prior to the Knicks' eight-game winning streak, which began on Dec. 4, and it's unclear if those three picks were protected or unprotected.
I’m sure the Knicks still have a level of interest in Anunoby. But they will almost certainly have to surrender multiple firsts and at least one young player they like to acquire him.
@PlayoffBoundNYK: Can we see a reality in which Immanuel Quickley starts? He’s the only true playmaker in the rotation, a smart team/individual perimeter defender, solid shot making, and can play off the ball. He fills so many gaps for this team.
Quickley has been fantastic for this team, one of its most valuable players. But I can’t see a scenario where Thibodeau starts Quickley and brings Grimes off the bench.
@davidfuternick: Is your feeling that IQ is still being realistically discussed in trade talks or has he played his way off the table at this point?
I’d heard earlier this month that the Knicks felt good about where things were with Quickley and had no interest in trying to determine a potential trade market for him, Mr. Futernick. So I’d assume he’d only be moved ahead of the trade deadline as part of a package for a top star.