We’ll continue our player grades with the Atlanta Hawks three-point specialist… Kevin Huerter. Let’s review how he looked this season.
Kevin Huerter had high expectations from the Atlanta Hawks coming into this season. Considering how impressive he was as a rookie, it was just assumed he would make a massive jump similar to Trae Young. However, due to the Hawks increased depth on the wing, Huerter’s improvement has only been marginal.
Huerter, unfortunately, only increased his scoring by 2.5 points per game and had effectively the same shooting splits as his rookie season. It’s difficult to ask him to improve his efficiency drastically because he was already so efficient, but a slight improvement would have been nice.
Kevin Huerter isn’t likely to ever make an All-Star team, however, he is and will continue to be an important piece for what the Atlanta Hawks are trying to build. Although, if Huerter wants to maximize his impact on this team, he’ll need to continue to improve on both ends of the floor.
This season, Kevin Huerter averaged 12.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game on shooting splits of .413/.380/.828. These are solid numbers from a starting level shooting guard, although Huerter may now be destined for the bench due to the emergence of Cam Reddish.
Kevin Huerter is obviously an integral part of what the Hawks do on the offensive side of the ball in terms of his scoring, he’s actually a really great secondary ball-handler and playmaker. As I mentioned, Huerter averaged 3.8 assists per game which is really impressive considering his usage rate is only 17.1%.
The biggest flaw in Kevin Huerter’s game is his poor defense. While he’s certainly not the worst defender in the NBA, he’s also very far from the best. Huerter is long and strong enough to hang with most shooting guards and small forwards, however, he lacks the lateral quickness to defend explosive point guards.
Considering the fact that Kevin Huerter is only making $2.2M this season and $2.6M next season, he is an absolute bargain. If Huerter is able to take another leap or two over the next few seasons, he will justify a pretty solid extension at the end of his current rookie-scale contract.
Clearly, Kevin Huerter performed well this season for the Atlanta Hawks. However, considering his unrealistically high expectations combined with his minimal improvement from his rookie season, there is still a lot of room for Huerter to grow.
Kevin Huerter is going to need to continue to improve if the Hawks want to start actually winning games anytime soon. Especially if Huerter is finding himself in a sixth man role now, due to Cam Reddish, he really needs to thrive in that role and maximize all the minutes that he’s on the floor.
Overall, I think Kevin Huerter had a good season but he left the Atlanta Hawks and Hawks fans wanting more from the young guard.