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 #12 (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /


De’Andre Hunter was arguably the best on ball defender in all of college basketball last season. He uses his 7’2 wingspan and strong frame, to lock down small forwards on the perimeter. He plays with consistent effort on defense and contests every shot possible. He has an NBA ready body and is able to hold his own against bigger forwards in the post, due to his weight and strength. Hunter compares favorably physically, to San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay.

On the offensive end of the court, De’Andre Hunter is a high percentage spot up shooter, especially from three-point range.  He is also very good in transition. He finishes with power on the fast break and is a threat to make trail threes. Hunter is a smart player with good offensive awareness. He knows his limitations and doesn’t take many bad shots. He often makes the right play. He also has the ability to post up smaller players inside. His best drives come when he goes quickly off the catch and surprises his opponent.


The most concerning thing about the game of De’Andre Hunter is the inability to create his own shot. Being a former center, Hunter has a limited number of dribbling moves in his arsenal. Though he shoots the ball well from downtown, he’s a low volume shooter. Hunter attempted less than three shots from beyond the arch per game last season. Working on the skill of making three-point shots off of screens, will be key to him maximizing his shooting potential.

De’Andre Hunter is much more of a power player than a skill player. That brings question as to rather he will be as effective inside against bigger NBA rim protectors. When Hunter isn’t able to beat his man quickly, he’s often stymied inside, causing a pass out and play reset. NBA defenders will study tape and be prepared for his quick catch and drive attacks. When he attacks closeouts off the dribble, he is often out of control. His first step is also not exceptionally quick.

Defensively though he is a very good on ball defender, De’Andre Hunter can be beaten off the dribble by guys who are able to string together multiple dribble moves. He also is not a defensive playmaker, registering very low numbers in blocks and steals. It is interesting that Hunter skipped the NBA Combine. It is not a huge deal as many other top prospects follow that same formula, however I was personally interested to see how well he tested in the speed and agility drills.

NBA draft experts from various networks and publications, have questioned rather De’Andre Hunter has the foot speed and explosion to contain NBA guards on the perimeter.  That would limit his effectiveness to guarding positions three through five, as opposed to being able to defend every position as originally advertised. Some have even suggested that he is a small ball power forward. If the lack of speed is proven to be true during individual workouts with teams, it could significantly lower Hunter’s draft stock. The fact the he is also one of the older prospects in this year’s draft also isn’t doing him any favors.

Laker Film Room recently posted this well put together scouting video on the game of De’Andre Hunter: