After making a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans prior to the NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks have selected Virginia forward De’Andre Hunter with the fourth pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Hunter has been one of the top prospects throughout the draft process and now goes to one of the up and coming teams in the NBA in Atlanta. Pairing alongside Trae Young and John Collins who are two of the promising young players in the league today.
At 6-feet-7-inches, 222 pounds, and a 7-foot wingspan, Hunter has the ability to be an elite defender at the next level and can get it done on the offensive end with room to grow.
After coming off the bench his freshman season, Hunter jumped into the starting lineup this past season and made a big impact for the Cavaliers in his sophomore season.
In 38 games, Hunter averaged 15.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game while shooting 52% from the floor and 43.8% from three. He won the NABC and ACC Defensive Player of the Year Awards and led the Cavaliers to the National Championship.
When it comes to the NBA, Hunter’s immediate strength will be his defense.
His size and length will make him ready to be able to go against guys like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Lebron James at the small forward position. He may not be able to stop them but he’ll be able to hold his own.
He’s a scorer, but there are questions about his release and the quickness to it. His ability to score from mid-range to beyond the three-point line is solid and there’s still room to grow there.
One of the negatives to his game is that he can’t create his own shot. Having a point guard like Trae Young will help Hunter from that standpoint as he transitions from college to the NBA.
I like this pick for Atlanta as they continue to lay the foundation down for the future. Adding Hunter to go with Young and Collins is great for the franchise moving forward.
General manager Travis Schlenk is building a solid core and will be able to add another solid rotational piece with the 10th pick in the NBA Draft. While they’re still a year or two away from seriously competing, Atlanta is making moves to put themselves back towards the top of the Eastern Conference.