The Atlanta Hawks have done a remarkable job in the past three drafts in regards to the first round selections. These selections are going to be considered as Travis’s guys. The recurring theme that you hope will be extended into this season as well is that each pick has performed beyond expectations.
Most fans didn’t even know who John Collins was coming out of Wake Forest at number 19. Although everyone knew of Trae by the end of the 2017-2018 college season, there were a number of pundits and fans who had low expectations for the number 5 pick.
Even this past draft class offers a somewhat polarizing name brand selection (Reddish) and a slightly under the radar pick (Hunter) with the potential to blow doors off the expectations.
But here’s what may still end up being the biggest surprise is how much Kevin Huerter is getting better. To be fair, there were some Klay Thompson comparisons out there, but those takes were nearly as lazy as the white player to white player comp. When you get a chance just look up ‘Kevin Huerter draft’ and you’re going to hear a couple 6 foot 7 white guys come up like Mike Miller and Joe Ingles.
Is Huerter a shooter? Most definitely, but if you actually have seen him play you most assuredly said either to yourself or even outloud “This dude can HOOP hoop!”
Although 9.7 points 2.9 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game doesn’t jump off the page Kevin actually jumps off the floor. He’s more athletic than he’s given credit for. Although his rookie campaign yields a 0.9 per game average for both blocks and steals Kevin actually is a more than capable defender.
Two games into the preseason and his absence is very noticeable. He may be the three of the “Big Three” but he is clearly one of them. There’s no telling how high his trajectory may reach but it is clear that he’s surpassed expectations, and that is another reason for Hawks fans to be optimistic and confident about the franchise’s future.
What kind of leap Kevin makes is yet to be determined but if his rookie season is any indication of what to expect;then Red Mamba,Red Velvet,Red Rifle or whatever contrived scarlett based moniker Hawks Nation settles on for him will be a pleasant surprise for Atlanta and a surprising problem for the rest of the league.