While the season is almost here, the offseason gave fans a chance to see players work on their skills. Whether that be through individual workouts, pickup games or playing in pro-am leagues, it has been an active time off for the Knicks roster.
Knicks teammates RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish and Trevor Keels returned to Duke University last week. Each of them were former players for the Duke Blue Devils under former Hall of Fame coach, Mike Krzyzewski. The three players were also one-and-done, playing only their freshman season before getting drafted.
Barrett and Reddish were teammates during the 2018-2019 season at Duke. That team was notable for making basketball headlines due to their dominant performances and having an All-Star player in Zion Williamson, who ended being the first pick in the 2019 NBA draft.
Though Williamson was the main attraction, both Barrett and Reddish were impact players for the Blue Devils team that ended up winning the ACC championship in 2019. Barrett averaged 22.1 points per game and Reddish averaged 13.5 points per game for the Blue Devils.
The team made it to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament where they would lose to the Michigan State Spartans. Barrett was selected by the Knicks with the third pick and Reddish was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 10th pick in the 2019 NBA draft. Reddish was traded to the Knicks last January.
Keels was selected by the Knicks at No. 42 in the second round of the 2022 NBA draft. The guard played for Krzyzewski last season in what would be the end of Coach K’s tenure as head coach for the Blue Devils. The rookie was selected on the ACC All-Rookie team and averaged 11.5 points during his freshman season.
Reddish Getting More Minutes?
The Knicks forward didn’t get much playing time last season after being acquired by the team. Reddish averaged a career low 14.3 minutes under Coach Thibodeau and averaged 6.1 points. Though he showed flashes of what he can provide on both ends of the floor during certain stretches, Reddish ended up having a season-ending shoulder injury that required surgery.
Now going into his fourth season, Reddish will be battling with wing players such as Evan Fournier and Quentin Grimes in training camp for minutes.
According to a report from Ian Begley of SNY, he believes that Reddish may have an opportunity to earn minutes in the rotation with a strong performance in training camp.
“Historically, Thibodeau has shown an appreciation for players who enter training camp in peak condition,” Begley said. “So it’s fair to assume that players who are in great shape at the start of camp will have an early advantage in the competition for minutes/rotation spots.”
Begley also shared that those who have seen Reddish in the offseason have said that he looks “phenomenal.” The forward has been seen working in the Tarrytown facility throughout the offseason.
The front office traded a protected first-round pick for Reddish which means there is belief in the organization that Reddish can flourish in New York.
Training Camp Date Is Set
The New York Knicks will start their training camp on September 27. This year’s training camp will be intriguing due to the many storylines. There will be a focus on the recent free agent signings, Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein.
Brunson was signed to be the starting point guard of the New York Knicks. The newest Knick will have responsibilities of playmaking for his teammates and creating offense for himself. Hartenstein was signed to backup Mitchell Robinson. The new Knicks center is known for his two-way play and also being able to space the floor with his perimeter shot.
Another interesting factor to watch during training camp and preseason action is who will be in the rotation. The Knicks roster has many young players talented enough to get minutes, but not everyone can play. Ian Begley reported that Immanuel Quickley is expected to get an increased role this season. Where does that leave a young player like Quentin Grimes or even veterans such as Evan Fournier and Derrick Rose?
There are many questions to be asked about what exactly do the New York Knicks have planned. Luckily, answers will be revealed soon with the regular season being less than a month away.