Breaking up is the hardest part, especially when you’re ex goes out and starts flourishing. It’s not always resentment, oftentimes it’s simply a “what if?” kind of situation. That has to be how some are feeling watching former Atlanta Hawks wing Kevin Huerter have his career year with the surprising Sacramento Kings.
Traded for players and salary cap relief, Huerter was arguably already one of the better perimeter players in many metrics.
But he has taken his game to a different level this year.
That has translated for a Kings team that is 8-6 and currently sitting seventh in a deep Western Conference. For Huerter, it has him on pace to do something only one person in NBA history —Stephen Curry — has ever done.
Kevin Huerter continues to thrive post-Atlanta Hawks
“Since leaving the Hawks,” begins The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, “Huerter is playing the best basketball of his life. He’s getting more opportunities to create his own shot and he’s making the most of it, logging both a career-high in touches per game (49.8) and points per touch (1.16), per Second Spectrum.”
O’Connor highlighted Huerter along with Desmond Bane of the Memphis Grizzlies, Spencer Dinwiddie of the Dallas Mavericks, and Michael Porter Jr. of the Denver Nuggets as all four are on pace to shoot over 45% from downtown for an entire season as only Curry has before them.
Huerter is currently knocking down a ridiculous 51% of his threes on 7.1 attempts per game, both career benchmarks.
His 18.1% usage rate is a career-high but comes on his fewest shots per game in two years.
“Huerter recently called Sacramento the “Beam Team,” an appropriate name for one of the NBA’s most potent 3-point-shooting teams.”
The Kings rank sixth in three-point efficiency on the seventh-most attempts per game.
Conversely, the Hawks rank 29th in attempts and 27th in efficiency from three-point range after trading Hueter to the Kings for a package that included Justin Holiday, Maurice Harkless (since traded), and a restricted 2024 first-round pick.
Whether or not they got a good enough return depends largely on what they do with the pick but it is clear how Huerter would have helped them.
Huerter was always known for his scoring and, specifically, his shooting.
But he also showed some chops as an on-ball defender and playmaker when the Hawks needed it the most over the last two seasons. Now, he is bringing that and more for his new team which he has said feels like “home”.
Hawks fans will always have fond memories of Red Velvet/K’Von/Game 7 Kevin in a Hawks uniform.