When the Hawks selected Kevin Huerter with the 19th pick in this past year’s draft, many Hawks got an idea of what Travis Schlenk was trying to do, build another Steph-Klay type back-court. After year one, the future for this back-court looks extremely bright.
Kevin Huerter had a terrific rookie season and proved he can one day be an elite deep threat. Huerter was second among all rookies who shot over 300 3s this season in 3P% at 38.5% trailing only Landry Shamet who shot a tad over 40%.
One thing that almost everybody overlooked about Huerter was his sneaky good athleticism. He wouldn’t show it off a lot, but every once in a while you would see him rise up for an impressive dunk or send back a shot. More confidence in that area would be great for him because he has the ability to finish strong at the rim, he just needs to believe he can.
Huerter also has good court vision as well. He is no Trae Young in that regard, but he can make some tough passes and set up his teammates for easy shots and that fits perfectly beside a point guard like Trae Young and a bouncy forward like John Collins.
The most exciting thing about Huerter is his potential defensively. He is long and athletic, and while his rookie numbers on that end do not scream lock down defender, he has the ability to turn into a guy that can keep the opposing team’s best player at bay. The best example of this was the Houston game where the Hawks through 3 different guys at James Harden throughout the game(Bembry, Bazemore, and Huerter) and ended his consecutive 30 point games streak. Huerter played a big role in that, and I think his ceiling on defense his higher than the scouts thought out of college if he can get stronger.
All in all, in was a better than expected rookie season for Kevin Huerter. No one expected him to start in 59 games. No one really expected him to be more than a knock down catch and shooter early on at least, but he showed that he can create his own shot ad use his length and sneaky good athleticism to get by defenders. Year 2 should be an exciting for Kevin Huerter and for us fans as we hope to continue to see him blossom and keep on outperforming his draft position.
By: Bret Anderson