By now, all basketball fans are aware of the awe-inspiring, fear-inducing behemoth that is Duke’s 2018-19 team. Four consensus top-twenty picks, three which could arguably be the top three picks in the 2019 NBA Draft. Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Cam Reddish are the center point of what some argue are the most dominant college team assembled. Of course, with this much talent gathered, talk has already begun about who is the best, or more importantly, who WILL BE the best. Will it be monstrous, freak of nature Williamson, or cool, calm and in control Barrett. Potentially, it could be neither. Here is why Cam Reddish could be Duke’s top prospect.
Cam Reddish Can Be Duke’s Top Prospect
Out of all three prospects, Cam Reddish is by far the most efficient shooter. He is currently shooting 43.2% from three, which is 11.6% better than Barret and 18.2% better than Williamson. With just over three made three-pointers per-game, Reddish is highly proficient in what is an increasingly valuable skill in the NBA. He has a projected NBA three-point percentage of 43.4%.
He is also shooting 94.4% from the free-throw line, 25.8% more than Williamson and 32.2% more than Barret. Reddish shoots 42% from the field, second to Williamson who shoots 65.3%. However, it is important to note that the majority of Zion Williamson’s shots come at the ring or in the paint, as opposed to Reddish who shoots just over seven threes a game. Overall, Cam Reddish is by far the most efficient shooter of Duke’s ‘Big Three’, a quality which will translate well to the NBA and can make him Duke’s top prospect.
On Ball Defense
Overall, Cam Reddish is not the best defender of the three, that clearly being Zion Williamson. However, Reddish is still a highly successful on-ball defender, and it shows in the numbers. Reddish records 2.8 steals per game, nearly one more per game than Williamson, and two more than Barrett.
Looking at advanced stats, Reddish records .086 wins generated by his defense per 40 min. He is sandwiched in this statistic, ahead of Barrett by 0.24, but trailing Williamson by .013. This shows that Reddish is effective on both sides of the ball, and can play multiple roles for a team. Again, his ability to play two-ways could make him the top Duke prospect in 2019’s NBA Draft.
Willingness to Adapt
This is an aspect of Reddish’s game that may go unnoticed, however, it is absolutely crucial, and may cement him as Duke’s top prospect. In watching Duke so far this season, it is clear that Reddish is the third option for the team. His ability and willingness to be the star when needed and also recognize when to step aside. This is desirable in the NBA, and not always seen in players of Reddish’s caliber. But he knows how to play his part and contribute, and that is a large reason that this Duke squad works as well as it does.
Many teams may not be sold on a ball dominant player such as Zion, or even a leader such as RJ Barrett. However, someone who can be your teams best player, but is willing to play alongside other greats and know their role. This could be the defining feature which makes Cam Reddish Duke’s top prospect.
Long Way To The Draft
While for now, Reddish can be seen as possibly Duke’s best player, it is still quite early into the season. Maybe he will continue to improve and become the clear-cut alpha. Maybe he will regress within his role, and lose draft stock because of it. There is still so much unwritten. However, for now, Cam Reddish could definitely turn out to be Duke’s Top Prospect.
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