As part of our offseason coverage, Soaring Down South is ranking each and every offseason transaction the Atlanta Hawks made.
After a slow start, the Atlanta Hawks kicked it into high gear and had one of the most action-packed and interesting offseasons in recent memory. Multiple trades and signings took place even after the NBA Draft, which was even more important for the Hawks in the long-term.
In our ongoing series of offseason reviews, it’s time to grade each move the Hawks made this offseason from draft picks to trades to free agency deals.
Next up: our grade of the selection of Kevin Huerter with the 19th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
While there were a plethora of options available with that pick, Huerter had already been on our radar, though his excellent performance in the NBA Draft Combine made NBA franchises sit up and take notice – shooting Huerter up draft boards around the league.
THE GRADE: A
Shooting is at a premium in today’s pace-and-space era in the NBA. Just look at the Golden State Warriors, who have won 3 championships now on the back of knockdown three-point shooters – and three of the greatest shooters to ever play the game, including the best ever: Stephen Curry.
Atlanta Hawks General Manager Travis Schlenk was responsible for the selection and development of the Warriors “Big 3,” so he knows a thing or two about predicting shooting promise in the league.
With the selection of Huerter at #19 overall, Schlenk is betting even bigger on a player that can make plays a bit more readily than Klay Thompson has. If Trae Young is the Hawks’ Steph Curry-lite, then Huerter is slated to be the Thompson equivalent.
Sure, predicting either player to turn into the All-NBA-caliber talent and greatest shooters ever comparison is certainly highfalutin, but Schlenk had to see something of his former proteges in those two to believe that he could create a similar backcourt in this year’s draft.
Sadly, Huerter was unable to play a single minute of Summer League due to offseason wrist surgery, but his selection in the middle of the first round, where Schlenk selected John Collins last year to great success, can be seen as a terrific move going forward if Huerter is able to come back better than ever from his injury.
Stay tuned for the next story in our offseason grades series, and always keep it locked to Soaring Down South for all your Atlanta Hawks news.