Kevin Huerter had a very impressive rookie year last season. He averaged 9.7 points per game but showcased his great skill set. He proved to be a knock down shooter, shooting 38.5% from deep, which led the entire rookie class last year. Huerter is also athletic enough to slash to the rim and finish through traffic. With his size and athleticism, Kevin makes for a pretty solid defender as well.
I expect Huerter to start the majority of the games for the Hawks, as long as he is providing valuable minutes. With Trae still at the head of this offense, Huerter will still have many catch and shoot opportunities. If the defense closes out on him, he is skilled enough to dribble around them and create a play himself either scoring or finding another open teammate.
Kevin will see more minutes this year, so he will definitely improve upon his numbers from last year. He will average around 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists per game. His three point percentage will be in the upper 30s while his total field goal percentage will be in the lower to mid 40s.
Kevin Huerter will play a very important role for this team as we look to fight for the 8th seed in the East. I don’t know if he will win it, but Kevin will be in the talks for most improved player after the season ends.
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.
Another year, another whole new look for our Atlanta Hawks squad.
As we have seen for the past few summers, the Hawks do not stand pat year to year. This summer was no different. With training camp opening on Monday, lets take a look at how I see the rotation and stat lines shaping out.
Mike Budenholzer and the club decided to part ways shortly after the season. GM Travis Schlenk ditched troubled Point Guard Dennis Schroder for the college superstar Trae Young. Out are mainstays such as Mike Muscala and Malcolm Delaney for Alex Len and Jeremy Lin. Add in the dynamic rookies Omari Spellman and Kevin Huerter alongside veteran Vince Carter, this season could be exiting – even if we do “suck”.
If Summer League was any indication, new Head Coach Lloyd Pierce is will bring the energy and intensity every night. Also it appears he will let the young guys grow and figure things out. For all the great things Coach Bud did, that could not always be said about him.
Continue to the next page for a full PPG-RPG-APG-MPG breakdown.
Lloyd Pierce, Kevin Huerter, Trae Young, Omari Spellman (Bleacher Report)
As basketball junkies across the globe try and survive these dry months of August and September, it’s never too early to look forward to the upcoming season. After a hectic off-season filled with new front office members, coaches, rookies and veterans, the Atlanta Hawks will enter the 2018-19 season looking drastically different from the year before. Here are the five most fascinating storylines for Atlanta’s team as we approach the end of August.
5: Early Trade Candidates Although it’s still the summer and fans haven’t even seen the new-look Hawks play a single pre-season game, it’s never too early to start thinking about potential trades down the line. After moving Dennis Schroder to scoop up a potential 2022 first round pick, I believe Travis Schlenk will look to do the same with other veterans on cap-friendly deals who can contribute to an playoff contender.
The two Hawks that come to mind as trade bait are Jeremy Lin and Kent Bazemore. Being on the last year of his deal, Lin is entering this season on a mission to prove he can still play at a high level following last season’s devastating injury. The good news is that Lin will be given every opportunity to succeed, as most believe he will begin the season in the starting lineup. Throughout his career Lin has shown a consistent scoring and playmaking ability, and if he can get back to his pre-injury form Atlanta will be fielding calls for him at the deadline. In return, Atlanta will be able to get an asset or two that they can add to their young core.
Kent Bazemore finds himself in a similar situation to Lin but with two more years left on his deal. Bazemore presents the physical prototype for a 3-D player in the league and is coming off the best three-point shooting season of his career in which he put up almost five 3 point attempts per game at a 39.4% clip. Reports have leaked that teams like Houston have shown interest in Bazemore, and in a new system without the ball-dominant presence of Dennis Schroder there should be more ball movement and opportunity for Bazemore to put up career numbers. Every team in the league can use a guy off the bench like Bazemore and Travis Schlenk will leverage that come the February trade deadline.
4: Draft Pick Watch: Cleveland & Dallas While Trae Young,Kevin Huerter and Omari Spellman headline the Hawks youth movement, there’s a strong possibility that Atlanta will add three more young prospects in the 2019 draft. In addition to their own first round pick in the upcoming draft, Atlanta also owns Cleveland’s top 10 protected pick from the Kyle Korver trade and Dallas’ top 5 protected pick from the Trae Young for Luka Doncic swap. It seems inevitable that Atlanta will get the Dallas pick as most pundits project Dallas to win around 40 games. It is the Cleveland selection, however, where things become interesting. If Cleveland finishes in the bottom 10 of the league this year, Atlanta will then receive two future second round picks, but if Cleveland finishes outside the bottom 10 then the pick goes to the Hawks. How Cleveland will do this season is a big question mark as the East is left wide open after Lebron’s departure. However, if Kevin Love can return to Timberwolves-form for the Cavs, then ruling them out already for a shot at the 8 spot could be a bit unreasonable.
3: Young Wing Play Another intriguing development for Atlanta will be the improvement of their young wing play. It all starts with third year man Taurean Prince. The Baylor product hasn’t looked back since his coming out party in the 2017 playoffs in which he doubled his playing time and improved his stat line across the board. Prince brings defensive intensity every single night which is the main reason why Mike Budenholzer was so obsessed with him in the 2016 draft. However, his offensive consistency is what holds him back from becoming a reliable go-to wing in the league. Prince has shown glimpses of what he can become, including five thirty-point games this past season, and 14.1 PPG on 43% shooting.
Justin Anderson and Deandre Bembry are the unknowns that close out this short list. Anderson, still only 24 years old, enters his fourth season with his third different team. JA was a very productive two-way player at UVA and has shown flashes of relevancy when given a chance. In reality, Anderson hasn’t been given a real opportunity, averaging over 20 MPG just once in his career and Atlanta might be the place where he can prove his worth. Anderson has always been a high energy, productive defensive player but the test is the offensive side of the ball where we’ll see if Anderson can put himself in the conversation as a real rotation player.
Similar to Anderson, Bembry is a wildcard player for the Hawks this season. Following his injury plagued sophomore year, the former first round pick will have to prove he’s worthy of taking minutes from Prince, Bazemore, Anderson and others. Bembry’s athleticism is what stands out, but if he can’t provide shooting on the offensive end then the third year man out of Saint Joseph’s could find himself on the trade block.
2: The Development of John Collins One of last season’s few bright spots, John Collins is a guy that has Hawks fans on the egde of their seats. The second year man out of Wake Forest provided efficient play last season with a 15.7-10.9 points per game to rebounds per game ratio per 36 minutes. Additionally, basketball junkies who followed Summer League in Vegas a couple of months ago saw how advanced he is in comparison to rookies at his position. Collins was effortlessly raining threes, crashing the offensive glass, throwing down put-back slams and demonstrating everything else you could want from a potential small-ball center.
Collins still has room to grow. He still has to get more comfortable with his shot and his perimeter defense must improve but the jump he’s made in the months following his rookie campaign should have Atlanta fans drooling. Collins should find himself as the starting power forward next to Dewayne Dedmon next season, but he also presents the physical tools and long-term potential to become a crunch-time center who can defend all positions and wreck-havoc from all spots on the offensive side.
1: Trae Young’s Play The key to Travis Schlenk’s success, the Peach State eyes will be on Trae Young this season. While many were critical of the decision to trade the rights to Luka Doncic, Schlenk is reportedly attempting to build the ‘Warriors of the East”; Young as Steph Curry, Kevin Huerter as Klay Thompson and Omari Spellman harnessing the Draymond role. While all three rookies will require patience and time to develop, the pressure will be higher on Young from the get-go as fans around the league will want to see results immediately. Young’s talent and feel for the game is undeniable, but the questions mark is his physical strength and lack of experience that is needed to be an effective floor general in this league. I don’t think Young will put himself in any serious conversation for rookie of the year or an all-rookie team, but if he does, Hotlanta will find itself in a frenzy all season long.