And with the 4th pick in the NBA Draft the Atlanta Hawks select ….
I’m not going to say that we had this guy number one on our Mock Draft and Big Board earlier this week, but check out our post from Tuesday.
“He is an elite defender” – Jay Bilas
In the hour leading up to the draft the Hawks made their second move of the day as they agreed to trade picks #8, #17 and #35 in the draft to the New Orleans Pelicans for the #4 overall pick. The Pelicans are also sending Solomon Hill, the #57 pick and a future second round pick. Also included in the deal is the Cleveland first round protected pick that the Hawks received in the Kyle Korver trade.
Moving forward here is what the Hawks are getting with the DeAndre Hunter pick. For the second year in a row it is clear that the Hawks had their eyes on “their guy.” All the moves led up to this moment, the trading of Taurean Prince, the shuffling of the picks it all was about adding another piece to this core.
With Hunter the Hawks immediately get better defensively on the wing. No shade to the previous small forward but Hunter is the reigning ACC-Defensive player of the year so saying that the Hawks are getting a good defender is not cliche.
In the championship game Hunter blanketed Jarrett Culver, holding him to 5-22 for the game including some big time stops near the end of the game. Big time stage against a big time player and Hunter made big time plays.
At 6’7, 225 Hunter is a prototypical NBA wing with length (7-0 wingspan) and what isn’t mentioned enough is that fact that he is one of the more polished players in the draft. He’s not a freshman like most of these lottery picks, he has 3 yrs of college basketball experience and he has a NCAA Championship on his resume.
In the way-too-early assessment of the trade and depth chart I imagine that Hunter is your opening night starter at small forward for the Hawks. Although Kent Bazemore is more of a shooting guard who at times played small forward, Baze would be a great mentor for the rook.
We will have more on the Hunter pick up later on throughout the night.
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