Cam Reddish will have to earn minutes

ATLANTA — Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau met with Cam Reddish at a hotel here before the game Saturday night against the Hawks.

If Thibodeau told Reddish what he subsequently told reporters, the former Hawk hasn’t been promised anything in a crowded Knicks rotation.

The Knicks traded for Reddish without parting with a player in the rotation, so “a logjam’’ exists, as Thibodeau has admitted.

The coach is not going to be prejudiced and play the shiny new thing on his roster. Minutes need to be earned — especially in practice.

“With every team, every day you’re working on the development of your team and your players and you have a finite amount of minutes available in each game — 240 minutes,’’ Thibodeau said before the Knicks’ 117-108 win. “So you have to play whomever gives you the best chance to win. And nobody’s development is more important than someone else’s development. Winning has to come first. You play who gives you the best chance to win. If you’re in the rotation, you have to perform well.’’

There is no timetable for Reddish’s debut — he is rehabbing a sprained ankle — but it appears a battle royal will be on for minutes.

Cam Reddish
Getty Images

“You don’t lock into one player, you lock into our team,’’ Thibodeau added. “So it’s not just Cam’s development or just [Immanuel Quickley’s]. It’s everyone’s development. I’m looking forward to working with Cam. Practice is important to me. You have to earn what you get, it’s that simple.’’

Hawks coach Nate McMillan sounded as if he is lamenting that Reddish asked for a trade this summer so he could play more minutes (he has averaged 23.4 minutes this season). McMillan saw a lot of promise even if Reddish has underachieved. The Hawks coach said it’s “unfortunate’’ he was unhappy.

“I really like Cam,’’ McMillan said. “I’ve only been with him probably 1½ years. Working with him the first time I saw the potential, a lot of potential in Cam. He and I had many conversations of my vision of what I thought he could be. I had the opportunity to coach Paul George — same type of body, same type of game, the ability to score, be a two-way player. Those are things I always talked to him about. He has a ton of potential.’’

Center Nerlens Noel was a late scratch with a sore knee after it failed to loosen during pregame warmups. He’s played 18 games amid a disastrous season since signing a three-year, $30 million contract.

PG Kemba Walker was not with the Knicks. He stayed in New York for conditioning, but sounds as if he’ll make his return Monday against the Hornets, one of his former teams.

Reddish will wear jersey No. 21 since his usual 22 is retired — last worn by Knicks great Dave DeBusschere.

New Hawk Kevin Knox was active Saturday but did not play. Before the game several Knicks came over to give him hugs and backslaps

“He’s played limited minutes since he came into the league,’’ McMillan said. “He’s got really good size and ability to shoot the basketball. Good size and can play the 3 and 4 and can put the ball in the basket.’’

Products You May Like