Over the NBA offseason, Cam Reddish of the New York Knicks had to rehab from an injury that marred a vital third season, watched his employers re-up with the names ahead of him on the depth chart, and was subjected to an unrequested trade lobby on his own birthday.
How was your summer?
Despite the three-plus months of madness, Reddish has entered the Knicks' training camp proceedings with a relatively cheery demeanor,
"Man, I'm blessed. I'm in the NBA, I'm playing for the New York Knicks ... I'm happy," Reddish said during the Knicks' "Content Day" affairs. "I can't really stress that enough. I mean, everybody really has tough times no matter what it is and no matter what your job is. It's all about how you respond to it and get through it. I'm a believer in God, so, man, I'm good, I'm all right."
The optimism of Reddish, who turned 23 on Sept. 1, is inspiring, if not slightly surprising considering the uprooting of his NBA career last season. He was part of a relatively dreary exchange of first-round picks in January, as Kevin Knox was sent to Reddish's original employers in Atlanta.
Reddish came to New York as the Knicks were sputtering in an ultimately futile defense of their fourth seed from the 2021 playoffs. Even as the Knicks sank further toward oblivion and knowing head coach Tom Thibodeau's propensity to favor experience, Reddish struggled to find minutes.
He played at least 20 only twice in 15 New York games before a shoulder injury prematurely ended his season and exuded an aura of uncertainty around his NBA career, one packed with potential but also one that has struggled to live up to its billing as the 10th overall pick of the 2019 draft. This season will be his last under his rookie deal bestowed in Atlanta, as he's slated to become a restricted free agent next summer.
The present is all that matters to Reddish for the time being, however. Keeping up with the optimistic themes of his first comments of the 2022-23 season, Reddish opted to focus on what he could control ... namely his health ... and plans to let the minutes issue sort itself out once the ball hits the hardwood.
"I'm good. I was working all summer," Reddish said about his shoulder woes. "Those first few weeks back after the injury, yeah, I was exhausted but I'm fine now ... I control what I can control. So minutes, all that stuff, that had nothing to do with me. I just come in and do my job, work as hard as I can every single day. I'm available. I'm healthy. Whatever happens, happens."
Reddish was, in fact, trying to opt into his self-professed message and mission of controlling what he could when chaos struck: the newly-minted 23-year-old was working out at the Knicks' on his birthday when his Instagram comments opened a deluge after he supposedly requested his way out of New York.
Despite the potentially tough road ahead ... Reddish is projected to be a backup at small forward behind college RJ Barrett and summer breakout Quentin Grimes ... Reddish has no plans or requests to leave his metropolitan post.
Over the offseason, Reddish focused his work on "shot creation" and "shooting all over the floor," especially after averaging a career-low 8.3 attempts her game last season. His final carving into the Knicks' rotation, however, has yet to be fully designed.
"I'm still figuring (out my role), trying to find my role, where I fit in," he said. "But, honestly, I'm willing to do whatever it takes to win, whatever that role is, wherever that may be is fine with me. We win, we all look good."
New York opens its preseason on Oct. 4 against the Detroit Pistons at Madison Square Garden.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags
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