Atlanta Hawks Kevin Huerter: Despite Low Usage, Red Pepper is Killing It

Kevin Huerter #3 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Kevin Huerter #3 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Kevin Huerter #3 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Low Usage

For a starting two guard in the NBA, Huerter – ahem, Red Pepper – does not touch the ball very much. Perhaps that’s by design so that Trae Young gets a baptism by fire to start his rookie year, but since this season is all about development for the Atlanta Hawks, it would seem fitting that Young and Huerter both would see their fair share of the ball.

While Huerter has been given a few token moments as the team’s primary ballhandler (such as notably bringing the first possession of the game up the court against the Warriors), for the most part, he has been deferring to Young, Kent Bazemore, DeAndre’ Bembry, Taurean Prince and others.

That shows in his comically low usage rate, which currently sits at 13.3 percent, ahead of only Two-Way Player Jaylen Adams, who has only played a total of 13 minutes in 4 games.

It’s hard to tell whether Huerter is simply naturally unselfish and an incredibly quick decision-maker (since the ball leaves his hands very quickly once he gets the ball), or whether he doesn’t quite feel comfortable as the Hawks’ lead ballhandler just yet.

I would lean towards the former, as Huerter seems like a terrific ballhandler in the limited action he has had the chance to showcase his handling and playmaking abilities – especially against the defending-champion Warriors, as he made two nifty bounce passes in traffic to great effect.