Atlanta Hawks: Drafting Low Ceiling Hunter Would Be A Regret

MINNEAPOLIS, Atlanta Hawks, De'Andre Hunter #12 (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, Atlanta Hawks, De'Andre Hunter #12 (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks, De’Andre Hunter (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks are exploring all options as we head towards the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20. One option that the Hawks should avoid, is drafting Virginia forward De’Andre Hunter.

Atlanta Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk recently made it clear, that he is exploring all options with the eighth and tenth picks in the upcoming NBA Draft. That could be standing pat, trading up, or trading down and collecting future draft assets. Schlenk make that clear in an interview on 929 The Game’s Morning Show. As we continue to look at possible fits for Atlanta in round one of the draft, De’Andre Hunter is the focus of this article.

De’Andre Hunter is a 6’8 227 pound forward from the University of Virginia. He committed to and signed with the Cavaliers as a center coming out of high school. Hunter’s first year on campus was spent on the sidelines as red shirt. It was during that time he learned to make his game more perimeter oriented, in order to covert to the forward position. The work paid off and Hunter carved out a nice role for himself, as the team’s top player off the bench during his first year as a player. De’Andre posted totals of 9.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in 33 games of action.

Deandre Hunter’s solid play earned him the ACC sixth man of the year award. Unfortunately for Virginia, Hunter suffered a wrist injury that caused him to miss the NCAA Tournament. The result was his Virginia squad embarrassingly become the first ever number one seed in the NCAA Tournament, to be upset by a 16 seed. Rather than end his college career on a sour note, Hunter decided to return to school. The plan was to chase a championship and improve his draft stock at the same time.

The decision to play a second season at Virginia was a wise one for De’Andre Hunter. The increased playing time resulted in Hunter increasing his averages in points, rebounds, assists and blocks. The statistical improvement was not solely due to playing more minutes however. De’Andre improved his efficiency shooting the basketball in every category. That includes field goal percentage, two point percentage, three-point percentage and free throw shooting.

The improved performance earned De’Andre Hunter a spot on the All ACC First Team and All Defensive Team. He also earned the ACC Defensive Player of the Year Award. Returning to school also paid off for De’Andre Hunter from a team success perspective, as he was a major cog in the Virginia Cavaliers NCAA Tournament Championship run. Following the season Hunter declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft.

Here are some highlights from De’Andre Hunter’s stellar season: