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 NCAA Photos – /

Expert Opinion

Most NBA experts have De’Andre Hunter ranked somewhere between number five and number eight. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer has De’Andre Hunter ranked lower at number 11 on his Big Board. Yet he projects Hunter to be drafted number six to the Phoenix Suns. O’Connor makes a few interesting comparisons game wise between Hunter and some current NBA players in the following quote:

"Unflashy 3-and-D forward who will translate in the NBA as a multipositional defender and reliable spot-up shooter. SHADES OF: Luol Deng, DeMarre Carroll, Jae Crowder"

Reasons the Atlanta Hawks Should Stay Away

1. Hawks Need Secondary Creator

There were three glaring problems with the Atlanta Hawks 60 win roster in 2014-15. Those problems were rebounding, rim protection and three-point defense. However there was a not so noticeable deficiency that prevented the team from being as explosive offensively as they could have been. That was the lack of a secondary creator in the starting lineup. Outside of point guard Jeff Teague, power forward Paul Millsap was the second best starter at creating his own shot.

The Atlanta Hawks need to learn from the mistakes of the past and get another wing player that is able to generate offense for himself and others. Granted Trae Young is the best initiator of offense that this franchise has ever seen and Kevin Huerter is more crafty with the basketball than Kyle Korver, but adding another capable shot creator could make this offense one of the best in the entire NBA. Trae Young has incredible shooting range, as does guard Kevin Huerter. Adding a point forward prospect like Cam Reddish would allow Trae Young to open up his off ball game, both spotting up and coming off of screens. This would make the Atlanta Hawks even more dangerous than they already are offensively. Unfortunately drafting De’Andre Hunter does not add that element.

2. Lack of Upside

De’Andre Hunter being nearly 22 years old makes him an older, more developed, NBA ready prospect. However I am of the belief that the goal in the NBA Draft is not to get the most ready prospect. Instead I believe the Hawks should aim for the prospect that will be the best player and fit for the franchise long term. Age is not the only factor, as physical limitations also play a major part in the ceiling of many NBA Draft prospects. When looking at the fact that Hunter is older yet is not an explosive athlete, it’s hard not to project some of the younger prospects with more athletic ability, to surpass Hunter as a player by the time that they are nearly 22 years old. Players like Cam Reddish, Sekou Doumbouya, Nassir Little, Kevin Porter Jr. and Romeo Langford immediately come to mind at the wing position.