Lakers Trade Rumors: Cam Reddish Pursued for 2 2nd-Round Picks Before Knicks Deal

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured 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

Cam Reddish is headed to the New York Knicks, but one of the NBA's other big-market teams was reportedly interested in him before the Atlanta Hawks sent him to the Big Apple.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported during Thursday's episode of NBA Today that the Los Lakers were interested in a Reddish deal prior to the trade to New York. Chris Kirschner and Fred Katz of The Athletic reported the Lakers offered Atlanta two second-round picks but the Eastern Conference team wanted a first-rounder.

Wojnarowski reported on the actual trade, noting the Hawks landed a protected 2022 first-round pick via the Charlotte Hornets and Kevin Knox II. The Knicks ended up with Solomon Hill and a 2025 second-round pick via the Brooklyn Nets.

It was somewhat surprising to see the Hawks move Reddish less than three years removed from their decision to select him with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, especially since he is averaging a career-best 11.9 points per game this season.

Yet the team is on the outside of the playoff picture looking in at 17-23 after last season's Eastern Conference Finals appearance and decided to make a change. There is also no shortage of depth on the wing thanks to the presence of Bogdan Bogdanovic, De'Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.

Los Angeles' interest in Reddish was justifiable since he would be an ideal complementary piece alongside LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.

The Lakers need more outside shooting, especially with Westbrook's well-publicized struggles from beyond the arc. Reddish is hitting a career-best 37.9 percent of his shots from deep and could either provide a spark off the bench or play in the starting lineup if needed.

Malik Monk has played some of the best basketball of his career by taking advantage of the openings created by the attention Los Angeles' star players command from defenses, and Reddish could have done something similar.

Alas, he will be joining a Knicks team that the Hawks knocked out of the playoffs last season.

New York is battling with Atlanta and others for positioning near the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff picture but is 4-1 in its previous five games after Wednesday's blowout victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

Reddish should be a boon to a short-handed Knicks backcourt that has endured lengthy injuries to Derrick Rose and Kemba Walker following Thursday's trade.