Knicks' Updated Starting Lineup, Salary Cap After Cam Reddish Trade with Hawks

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 13, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 07: Cam Reddish #22 of the Atlanta Hawks warms up before the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Crypto.com Arena on January 07, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

As they look to improve upon their 21-21 record and continue building for the future, the New York Knicks acquired Cam Reddish and Solomon Hill from the Atlanta Hawks, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

New York is sending the Charlotte Hornets' 2022 first-round pick with protections and Kevin Knox to Atlanta. Here's how the Knicks' depth chart might look following the move:

  • PG: Kemba Walker, Alec Burks, Immanuel Quickley 
  • SG: RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley 
  • SF: Evan Fournier, Cam Reddish 
  • PF: Julius Randle, Obi Toppin, Solomon Hill 
  • C: Mitchell Robinson, Nerlens Noel, Taj Gibson

Exchanging Knox for Reddish saves them a little bit of money in the short term but carries long-term implications.

Knox counts for $5.8 million against the salary cap this season, but the odds of him getting an extension from New York beyond his rookie deal appeared to be slim.

Reddish, on the other hand, makes a little less than $4.7 million now and will earn $5.9 million in 2022-23. Come 2023, the Knicks may have a difficult decision with the 22-year-old eligible for restricted free agency.

Reddish's contract status was almost certainly a driving factor in his exit from Atlanta.

The Hawks have already handed out extensions to Trae Young, John Collins, Clint Capela and Kevin Huerter. De'Andre Hunter is eligible for restricted free agency in 2023, when both Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic could be hitting the open market as well.

The team's 17-23 record raises obvious questions about whether Atlanta can afford to lock itself into its current roster and still be a genuine title contender. The front office will want to leave itself with some flexibility to make upgrades.

For Reddish, the Hawks' depth on the wing was limiting the role he could occupy, thus potentially hindering his earning power. Through 34 games, he was averaging 11.9 points and 2.5 rebounds in 23.4 minutes on the floor. He's also shooting 40.2 percent overall and 37.9 percent from three-point range.

Considering what they gave up, this is a worthwhile gamble for the Knicks.

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA

I’m not sure get this trade for the Hawks. Need to see the full picture and if other deals are coming.

Reddish was teammates with Knicks wing RJ Barrett and New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson at Duke. The theories about Williamson following his fellow Blue Devils to the Big Apple are already beginning.

mike taddow @MikeTaddow

"how do i enter the transfer portal?" - imessage from zion to his agents, presumably

Jeff Eisenband @JeffEisenband

Zion looking at Madison Square Garden like <a href="https://t.co/2mCgUFwX4c">pic.twitter.com/2mCgUFwX4c</a>

Trading for Reddish as a way to lure Williamson would be some real fourth-dimensional chess and feels far too fantastical to actually happen.

The Knicks will probably be thrilled if Reddish simply takes his game to another level and develops into a consistent three-and-D forward.