This past week, Virginia draft prospect De’Andre Hunter has been training with multiple NBA Players before this year upcoming draft. NBA shooting coach Olin Simplis lead the training session with Hunter, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the LA Clippers, Bruno Caboclo and Yuta Watanabe of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Hunter is widely seen as a defensive prospect. So, improving and diversifying his offensive game will only increase his ceiling as a player. Hunter is explosive when attacking the rim, a good spot-up shooter with space and showed flashes as a pull-up shooter.
However, Hunter offensive game is somewhat predictable. He loves attacking from his left side before making his move. So, defenders routinely watch and sit on his left hand. If Simplis can help him add more moves to his game to be less predictable, Hunter will be a better player.
Hunter also might want to work with Simplis to make his release faster. Making his release faster will make him a better shooter on the catch making him a bigger threat. Right now, Hunter needs a few seconds to set his feet, which lets the defense better contest his shot.
Hunter also has to improve as a ball handler. Working with Shai, who is a guard, might fix that. Hunter has really bad hands right now, which give him a shaky handle and should not be used as a ball handler in the pick and roll. This is one of the reasons why Hunter is better playing off others and when someone else can create his shot.
Hunter is looked at as a potential top-ten draft pick. Some mock drafts have him going as high as four to the LA Lakers if the pick is retained by them.
Being a system player and needing his shots created for him, a possible fit might be the Cleveland Cavaliers in John Beilein’s system. According to Cavs reporter Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, “the Cavs are still hoping to conduct a workout with De’Andre Hunter, but it hasn’t happened yet… Hunter is in consideration with the fifth pick”.
Simplis has also worked with draft prospects Luka Šamanić of Croatia and Rui Hachimura of Gonzaga before the 2019 NBA draft, which is on June 20, 2019. Simplis also runs workouts with Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets. So it’s possible that Hunter can get in the gym with them before the draft too.
Hunter might really want to tap into Dinwiddie, who can help him improve his ball handling and teach him new moves. Especially his spin moves because Dinwiddie is known as Spinwiddie. Whatever happens, Hunter has some attributes as the ideal wing player for the modern NBA.