With the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers selected De’Andre Hunter, though he will go to the Atlanta Hawks after a proposed trade that went through just before the draft started. He becomes the first Virginia player to go in the first round of the draft since Justin Anderson went No. 21 to the Dallas Mavericks in 2015, and the first to go in the top-10 of the draft since Olden Polynice went No. 8 overall to the Chicago Bulls in 1987.
The Hawks traded up to get Hunter at No. 4, giving up the No. 8, No. 17, and No. 35 draft picks in this year’s draft to the Pelicans in exchange for four. Hunter becomes the second-highest Cavalier drafted behind just Ralph Sampson (No. 1, 1983).
The Hawks move for Hunter marks the second year in a row in which Atlanta GM Travis Schlenk made a big move in the lottery to get their man. In the 2018 NBA draft, Atlanta selected Real Madrid guard Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick, but immediately traded him to the Mavericks, who took Young.
Atlanta went 29-53 last season, finishing fifth in the southeast division. Hunter joins former Wahoo Justin Anderson on the Hawks (although he’s a free agent) and will fit well alongside Young. As the Hawks point guard, Young averaged 19.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game last season. He isn’t a great shooter from three (32%), but is an excellent passer. Expect to see a lot of Young to Hunter dishes for threes.
“They’re putting together a really exceptional young core in Atlanta,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said of the Hawks getting Young and Hunter together.
We did a Q&A with the Hawks before the draft, highlighting how Hunter will adapt his game to the NBA and what he would bring to Atlanta. The long and short of it: great defense, strong shooting, and efficient play.
Hunter averaged 15.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in his final season in Charlottesville, helping the Hoos bring home their first ever National Championship in men’s basketball. He shot 44% from three and 52% from the field last season, including an eFG% of 58%.
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