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Welcome to ATL DeAndre Hunter!

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Re: Welcome to ATL DeAndre Hunter! 

Post#41 » by Jamaaliver » Fri Aug 2, 2019 11:27 am

The Rookie Curve: The Hawks Need De’Andre Hunter As Much As He Needs Them

Atlanta gave up a haul to nab Hunter in the draft. But if he fits as well as the team thinks he will, he could become a major contributor and the Hawks could become major players for star free agents a lot sooner than you think

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The Hawks gave up a king’s ransom for De’Andre Hunter. In most situations, Hunter would need to become an All-Star-caliber player to justify all that the Hawks gave up to get him. But the beauty of the team they’ve built is that they don’t need him to be. They just need him to complement the players they already have.

Few NBA teams are as disciplined as the Hawks when it comes to sticking to a long-term plan. In three drafts under GM Travis Schlenk, Atlanta has targeted skill sets more than players. The front office identifies specific types of players whose games complement one another and then moves around the draft to acquire them, without worrying about their abilities in a vacuum. They are putting on a team-building clinic.

The Hawks have now added five key players in the past three drafts; the unusual part is that all five can play in a lineup together. The only way for a team with Trae Young to be good defensively is to surround him with length and athleticism on the perimeter. The Hawks, who now have three of the biggest wings in the NBA, are doing that:

  • Huerter: 6-foot-7 and 190 pounds with a 6-foot-8 wingspan
  • Reddish: 6-foot-9 and 208 pounds with a 7-foot-1 wingspan
  • Hunter: 6-foot-7 and 225 pounds with a 7-foot-2 wingspan

Hunter fits better within the context of re-creating the Warriors than almost any of the players taken after him in the draft. He’s bigger and stronger than either Huerter or Reddish, which should allow him to match up with the biggest wings in the NBA. He already knows how to play both team and individual defense after spending three seasons learning from Tony Bennett, one of the best defensive coaches in the NCAA. Virginia just won the NCAA championship largely because Hunter was a key part of a versatile defensive frontcourt that could defend the paint and the 3-point line at a high level. Hunter is strong enough to hold his own in the post and quick enough to switch screens and stay in front of smaller players on the perimeter.

Hunter should also make the Hawks better on offense. He isn’t just a spot-up shooter; he averaged 15.2 points on 52.0 percent shooting last season, and carried Virginia down the stretch of the NCAA championship game, finishing with 27 points on 8-for-16 shooting. His ability to create his own shot and attack mismatches will make him more valuable than most players in 3-and-D roles. Hunter won’t be a primary option on offense early in his NBA career, but he will at least force the opposing team to keep a credible wing defender on him.

Spoiler:
However, for as well as Hunter fits in Atlanta, he’s far from a perfect prospect. Most statistical models frowned on taking him in the top five. The models share a couple of major concerns. Hunter’s an older prospect who didn’t have much of a statistical impact in the NCAA beyond scoring. He was an average rebounder (5.1 per game) and a below-average passer (2.0 assists and 1.4 turnovers) with limited block (0.6) and steal (0.6) averages for a player with his defensive reputation.

The reasons for those poor numbers were easy to spot on the court in college. Hunter is a good but not great athlete without great instincts on either end of the floor. He’s a methodical player who doesn’t have much burst off the dribble, which makes it hard for him to create efficient shots against high-level defenders, and he doesn’t read the floor particularly well. He can make basic passes off the dribble, but he’ll never be a point forward.

The NBA player Hunter most resembles is probably Harrison Barnes, which is not a great value for someone taken no. 4 overall, especially considering the number of picks the Hawks gave up to get him. It just doesn’t matter to them because Barnes, one of the members of the Lineup of Death when the Warriors won their first NBA title in 2015, is all they need Hunter to be.


None of Hunter’s flaws should hold him back in Atlanta. Young will create open shots for him, and all of the 3-point shooting around Hunter will mean that he will play in a lot of space. No one will be sending double-teams at him in the NBA, and he will get the benefit of attacking when the defense is already scrambling. Even though Hunter’s defenders will be quicker and faster in the NBA, they will be coming from farther away. His life should be much easier than it was in college, and in turn, he should make life easier for the other members of the Hawks core.
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Re: Welcome to ATL DeAndre Hunter! 

Post#42 » by Jamaaliver » Mon Aug 5, 2019 2:20 pm

NBA Rookies Who Won't Live Up to Their Draft Spot

De'Andre Hunter | Atlanta Hawks

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The Atlanta Hawks targeted De'Andre Hunter and traded up to No. 4 overall to secure him. They'll regret not staying put and keeping Nos. 8 and 17.

Hunter may turn into a fine role player, even as a rookie. But he won't finish as a top-five prospect from this class.

His floor—propped up by defensive tools and accurate college shooting—looked more attractive than his ceiling entering the draft. Hunter lacks the athleticism and skill set synonymous with upside. He isn't a blow-by athlete, explosive finisher or advanced shot-creator.

Even his jump shot comes with legitimacy questions. He only made 46 threes through 38 games while averaging 32.5 minutes as a 21-year-old sophomore. He shot just 23-of-62 on pull-up jumpers.

Unlikely to be an impact passer or board man after averaging 2.0 assists and 5.1 rebounds, Hunter will seemingly need to become an elite NBA defender to justify No. 4 overall value. I wouldn't bet on it—or his scoring attack suddenly blowing up.

The New Orleans Pelicans, who turned No. 4 into summer league stars Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, will wind up thanking Atlanta for falling in love with Hunter.
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Re: Welcome to ATL DeAndre Hunter! 

Post#43 » by D21 » Mon Aug 5, 2019 10:55 pm

We will see if this trade up was overpaid... On one side, it seems that Schlenk decided to take the player he thinks is the best player with the best possible pick he could get, but on the other side, it also looks like ATL had bad defense last year, andso he wanted the best defender available in the draft, which would be a bit stupid because the best defender doesn't mean that once in NBA with other players he would be a great defender. It's all relative

In a sense, that's right that the performance of Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker will be watched by the media, and they will put pressure on Hunter by comparing him to those two players.

Hunter is now in the same situation than Trae, with a "why trading for him ?" question above his head. I hope he can prove that there was something special and can make a bit of impact in his first year.
At least, the way Schlenk picked Trae and Hunter shows some love from him and the team and both players should appreciate and feel great about that.
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Re: Welcome to ATL DeAndre Hunter! 

Post#44 » by fuzzy1 » Wed Aug 7, 2019 1:29 am

I have full faith in this kid. He gonna be good

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