Name: De’Andre Hunter
Height (w/ shoes): 6’7″
Weight: 225 pounds
STATISTICS (38 GAMES)
15.2 points (52.0/43.8/78.3), 5.1 rebounds, and 2.0 assists.
Hunter provides some very obvious strengths to whichever team selects him at the 2019 NBA Draft. He improved greatly as a shooter, especially in a spot-up role and understands how to play off-ball. In addition, he does a great job of relocating to open spots or cutting for easy buckets at the rim when others attract attention.
Hunter also improved as a shot creator, showing the ability to attack closeouts and has shown an improved ability to make good passes on his drives.
Defensively, Hunter comes from a Virginia program that prides themselves on that side of the ball. His combination of length, strength, and quickness allows him to guard most wings on the perimeter while he also has a strong base that prevents him from getting pushed around in the post. He could potentially guard up to four positions at the next level.
Hunter is an average ball-handler and shot creator at best, limiting his upside as a primary scorer. He’ll never be someone who can consistently create his own shot at the next level. He’s also not overly athletic and has had issues finishing at the rim especially against length and questions remain about his ability to consistently hit NBA three-pointers.
One would expect him to have grabbed more rebounds, though that could be a product of Virginia’s slow style with less possessions.
Defensively, Hunter has struggled with quicker perimeter players and could have issues containing more explosive wings that the NBA possesses. He also didn’t collect too many blocks or steals but again, that could be a product of the defensive system of Virginia.
Age is also a concern as he will turn 22 years old in December. He’ll likely be one of the oldest player selected in the lottery.
FIT WITH LAKERS
Hunter is a prototypical combo forward with the ability to play and guard multiple positions and assuming his shooting translates to the next level, space the floor offensively. His ceiling isn’t as high as other potential picks — especially offensively — but for a Los Angeles Lakers team looking to compete immediately, he is more ready and mature than others.
One potential issue for Hunter with the Lakers is finding minutes. No one can be sure as to who will be on the roster once the 2019-20 NBA season begind but as it currently stands, both LeBron James and Kyle Kuzma will need minutes at the forward position with Brandon Ingram also spending some time in the frontcourt.
Hunter is an intriguing prospect, especially with his defensive potential which is always something the Lakers are looking for. However, at this high of a selection, the Lakers may prefer someone with a higher upside at more of a position of need.