Atlanta Hawks: De’Andre Hunter Hopes to Emulate Kevin Durant

De'Andre Hunter #12 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Sean Berry/NBAE via Getty Images)
De'Andre Hunter #12 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Sean Berry/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A quick look at news regarding Atlanta Hawks rookie De’Andre Hunter and how he hopes his career plays out.

For the second straight season, the Atlanta Hawks machinations in the upper tier of the NBA Draft were widely reviled by NBA draft Twitter and draft experts across various sites and outlets.

Why? Well, the team gave up a huge amount in order to select De’Andre Hunter out of Virginia at #4 overall – giving up multiple future picks and taking on the dead salary of Solomon Hill to boot.

One thing you can’t say about General Manager Travis Schlenk is that he’s shy about making moves to “get his guy” on draft night just as he did in 2018 by trading away a player that was (and is) widely regarded as a generational talent in Luka Doncic.

This year, the move was giving up a king’s ransom to the Pelicans in order to move up to #4 and select Hunter. After a terrific sophomore season with the Virginia Cavaliers, Hunter led his team to a national championship following an ignominious first-round exit the year prior – in which Hunter did not play due to an injury.

Though there’s no question Hunter fits well with the Atlanta Hawks young core and has the shooting and defensive chops to be an instant contributor, his upside is not as high as some others players that were drafted nearby.

Despite that, Hunter has that ever-important aspect that almost all star athletes possess: An indefatigable belief in himself and confidence that he will, indeed, be a star. In fact, Hunter wants to be at the level of Kevin Durant at some point in his career.

“I’m looking forward to playing against KD,” Hunter told Anthony Olivieri of ESPN. “He was one of my favorite players growing up. I like him as a player. Hopefully, one day I’ll be at his level. I just really respect his game and really admire what he does.”

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Though time will tell if Hunter will reach these lofty heights, there is no question he will be given every opportunity in Atlanta after the team invested multiple future picks in him this offseason.