RJ Hunter, Where Will He Be Drafted?


Georgia State SG RJ Hunter had a great 2014-15 season leading the Panthers to the NCAA Tournament.  Coached by his father Ron, RJ’s Panthers defeated rival Georgia Southern in the Sun Belt Championship game to capture the conference’s automatic bid.  Their father-son, player-coach relationship made for a wonderful story in the Tourney’s opening weekend.  Whether it was RJ’s clutch 3-pointer to upset 3-seeded Baylor or his coach-father Ron finding a new way to hurt himself celebrating, America fell in love with the Hunters.

RJ Hunter looks to write a new chapter in his basketball career as he enters the 2015 NBA Draft.  The junior SG projects as a mid-to-late first round selection.  This should benefit RJ as he will most likely come off the bench for a playoff team as a spot-up shooter.  He projects to have the floor of an average perimeter defender.  His foot speed maybe the only thing holding back his otherwise well-rounded game.  Here are five possible first-round destinations for the Georgia State SG.

Oklahoma City Thunder: 14th Overall (Projected)

RJ Hunter could fall in the back-end of the lottery as Oklahoma City is always looking for jump shooters.  With yesterday’s firing of former HC Scott Brooks, it will be up to GM Sam Presti to decide which prospect merits their projected fourteenth overall selection.  The Thunder have gone big the last two drafts with Steven Adams and Mitch McGary.  Unless Presti is madly in love with Dion Waiters, Hunter could be drafted by the Thunder if Wisconsin swingman Sam Dekker is already off the board.

Atlanta Hawks: 15th Overall (From Brooklyn)

Atlanta receives the fifteenth overall selection as part of the Joe Johnson trade.  The Hawks will exercise their right to swap first round picks with Brooklyn this year to move up fourteen spots from 29 to 15.  Under Coach Bud’s system, there’s always a focus on 3-point shooting and defense.  If the Hawks take RJ Hunter fifteenth, that might mean the end of John Jenkins’ stay in Atlanta.  Jenkins struggles to find playing time as his defense isn’t up to par with Coach Bud’s liking.  Kyle Korver was an average perimeter defender with sub par wheels coming out of Creighton.  Now he changes games with his help defense.  Hunter might not have to leave Atlanta if his basketball IQ wows the Hawks front office.  Being that he is the son of a Division I College Coach, I’d be shocked if RJ’s student mentality was anything less than exemplary.

More from GSU Panthers

Portland Trail Blazers: 23rd Overall

Portland makes sense for a potential RJ Hunter destination.  The Trail Blazers bench needs drastic improvement as the team crumbles when the starters rest.  Nicolas Batum had a down year in 2014-15. CJ McCollum can’t stay healthy.  Steve Blake is getting old.  Damian Lillard plays matador defense. Wesley Matthews goes into free agency with a torn Achilles tendon.  Now rumors are surfacing that LaMarcus Aldridge isn’t happy and might leave Rip City.  What’s happening to Terry Stotts’ Blazers?  Portland could be heading south at an alarming rate.  Hunter would receive ample playing time in the Pacific Northwest regardless of how the Trail Blazers look in 2015-16.

Los Angeles Lakers: 27th Overall (From Houston)

The Houston Rockets unloaded a bad Jeremy Lin contract on the Los Angeles Lakers this past summer and it cost them both of their picks in this year’s draft.  As strange as it sounds, the Lakers are rebuilding will use this late first-round pick to reconstruct a winner.  Outside of the often-injured Kobe Bryant and the occasional Nick Young Swaggy P Show, the Lakers are a dreadful jump shooting team.  They’re not Brick City like Charlotte, but Los Angeles could use RJ Hunter’s well-roundedness on an island of misfit toys.

Golden State Warriors: 30th Overall

Saying that Golden State loves to shoot 3-pointers would be an understatement.  Outside of renowned defensive anchor Andrew Bogut, everyone on the Warriors has an above-average perimeter game.  Their jump shooting philosophy emanates from their head coach, former dead-eye Steve Kerr.  Finding value at 30 isn’t easy but if Hunter falls to the Warriors, Kerr and company might succumb to temptation and draft the Georgia State SG anyway.