Atlanta Hawks: 2019 NBA Draft grades

Photo by Mark Westcott/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Mark Westcott/NBAE via Getty Images /
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Atlanta Hawks
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No. 4 pick: De’Andre Hunter

In one of the bigger draft trades of the 2019 NBA Draft outside of the Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers trade, the Atlanta Hawks picked up their favorite target in De’Andre Hunter, a stellar 3-and-D wing from Virginia.

Hunter is highly regarded as the best defensive wing of the 2019 draft class and the Hawks will officially welcome him to Atlanta on July 6. This pick was officially made by the Los Angeles Lakers though, as their trade with the Pelicans for Anthony Davis included this pick, but won’t be official for a few more weeks.

To get the rights to No. 4, the Hawks gave up a lot, but still managed to hang on to the No. 10 pick in the midst of it all.

It will be worth the wait though, as the Hawks have been linked to Hunter even before the draft lottery was set. He will help shore up a huge need for the team: perimeter defense. The Hawks gave up 119.4 points per game last season, the worst mark in the league. The team’s defensive rating clocked in at 113.9 (according to Basketball-Reference), the third-worst mark in the league.

Hunter has a great profile physically, as he stands 6’8″ with a 230-pound frame. As broken down by Draft Express, he can get to the rim with ease and has the defensive versatility to play multiple positions.

Jarrett Culver was linked to the Hawks as well if they moved up in the draft like they did, but Hunter will fit better with the Hawks and should be able to slide to the 2, 3 or 4 depending on what lineups head coach Lloyd Pierce employs on a night basis.

The Hawks needed a big defensive presence to mask the weaknesses of Trae Young and they got that in Hunter. They also received another great 3-point shooter as well. And on top of that, Atlanta didn’t have to give away all three of its first round picks to make it happen, even though it was still a high price to move up for their guy.

Grade: A-