The New York Knicks have agreed to trade Cam Reddish, Ryan Arcidiacono, Svi Mykhailiuk and a protected first-round pick to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Josh Hart, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The pick the Knicks are sending is their own 2023 first-round pick, which is lottery protected. If it does not convey this year, it will turn into four future second-round picks.
Hart, a versatile player on both sides of the ball, was also dealt at the deadline last season, when the New Orleans Pelicans sent him to the Blazers in the CJ McCollum trade. In 51 games as a starter for the Blazers this season, he averaged 9.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists, while providing stout perimeter defense. However, he struggled with his shot, making just 30.4 percent of his 3-point attempts.
Given his competitive mindset on the defensive side of the ball, Hart should fit right into the culture set by head coach Tom Thibodeau. He’ll also get to team up with former Villanova teammate Jalen Brunson, who was thrilled about the move. The duo won an NCAA championship together in 2016.
This is also the second deadline in a row that Reddish has been moved. The Knicks acquired him from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Kevin Knox and a future first-round pick, which originally belonged to the Charlotte Hornets and has not yet conveyed. While the front office hoped that Reddish could be a reclamation project under Thibodeau, that did not happen. Reddish only ended up playing 35 total games for the Knicks, and quickly fell out of the rotation this season; he has not seen the court since Dec. 3. Perhaps his fortunes will be better in Portland, but the chances are running out for the former No. 10 overall pick.
Let’s grade the trade:
Hart is perhaps the ideal player for a Tom Thibodeau team. He’s a hard-nosed defender who will always put in effort on that side of the ball and, guards multiple positions, works hard on the glass and is stays inside his role. Part of the downside of Thibodeau’s rigid style is that some players either aren’t interested in playing that way or take time to adjust; that won’t be the case for Hart, who will help beef up the Knicks’ wing rotation.
In addition to the versatility and toughness he’ll bring on defense, Hart is a solid secondary playmaker, a willing cutter and a terrific offensive rebounder for his size. The big question is whether he can rediscover his 3-point shot. He’s struggled from behind the line this season (30.4 percent on 2.2 attempts per game) but is a career 34.3 percent shooter. If he can get back up into that range from 3, it will be a big boost for the Knicks.
The Knicks also did well to get the lottery protection on the first-round pick, which gives them some insurance against a post-All-Star break collapse or a disappointing result in the play-in tournament. However, they did have to give up a first-round pick to get Reddish and then give up another one in the trade to get rid of him, which isn’t great asset management. It’s also worth noting Hart has a player option for next season and can become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Still, this is a nice trade for the Knicks, especially considering they didn’t lose any rotation players.
- Cam Reddish
- Ryan Arcidiacono
- Svi Mykhailiuk
- Knicks’ 2023 lottery protected first-round pick (becomes four second-rounders if it doesn’t convey this year)
The Blazers hoped they could get back into the playoff mix this season with a healthy Damian Lillard and Jerami Grant, who arrived in an offseason trade. And they still could; though they are in 12th place entering Wednesday night’s slate of games, they are percentage points out of play-in position and just three games out of fifth in the crowded Western Conference.
But even if they do sneak into the playoffs, it’s clear this team is not going anywhere this season, so they made the wise choice to become sellers. Hart is a super helpful role player, but he doesn’t move the needle enough on a middling team like the Blazers and will likely opt out and become a free agent this summer. Instead of paying him, they’ll take the upside of Reddish and a potential extra first-round pick.
Reddish was highly touted coming into the league, but has not been able to put things together in his first two stops with the Atlanta Hawks and Knicks. He’s shown some flashes on both sides of the ball, however, and is still only 23 years old; it doesn’t hurt the Blazers to take a look at him. A definite first-round pick would have been better for the Blazers, but four second-rounders is more than the usual trade-off for a selection that doesn’t convey.