Future Watch: De’Andre Hunter Rookie Basketball Cards, Hawks

Future Watch: De'Andre Hunter Rookie Basketball Cards, HawksFuture Watch: De’Andre Hunter Rookie Basketball Cards, HawksDe’Andre Hunter was born in Philadelphia in 1997. His prep career started at Friends’ Central School in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. In his junior season, he averaged 21.6 points, 11.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. That year he was named Pennsylvania Class AA Player of the Year. In his senior season in 2016, Hunter averaged 23.5 points, 9.8 boards, 3.0 assists and 2.5 blocks per game. Hunter was rated as a four-star college recruit, 72nd among all recruits and 14th among small forwards in the 2016 high school class. He would commit to play college ball for the University of Virginia, turning down offers from NC State and Notre Dame.

Hunter would redshirt as a true freshman and made his debut for Virginia in the 2017-18 season. In his redshirt freshman season with the Cavaliers, Hunter played as a reserve in 33 games averaging 19.9 minutes per contest. He averaged 9.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists. He scored in double figures in 16 games, including 11 conference games. Hunter would break his wrist during the ACC tournament and was unable to play in the 2018 NCAA tournament. The #1 seeded Cavaliers would go on to lose their first-round matchup to #16 seed UMBC. Despite the heartbreaking loss, Hunter would earn ACC Sixth Man of the Year honors and was named to the All-ACC All-Freshman Team. There was speculation that he would leave Virginia for the 2018 NBA Draft, but he elected to return to the Cavaliers for the 2018-19 season.

As a sophomore, De’Andre Hunter’s stats increased across the board. He started in all 38 games for the Cavs while averaging 32.5 minutes. His Future Watch: De'Andre Hunter Rookie Basketball Cards, Hawks15.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game were all improvements on his freshman numbers. Most impressively, he shot 43.8% from behind the arc. Virginia would once again earn a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament with the goal of avenging their horrible first round loss the previous year. Hunter and the Cavaliers did not disappoint as they powered through to the Championship game where they took down Texas Tech 85-77 behind Hunter’s 27 points and nine boards. Hunter’s game-tying three-pointer with 12.9 seconds left in regulation helped force an overtime period where Virginia’s stifling defense held the Red Raiders to just nine points. At the conclusion of the season, De’Andre Hunter announced his intention to forego his final two seasons of college eligibility and declared for the 2019 NBA draft.

Heading into the draft, Hunter measured 6’8” in shoes with a 7’2” wingspan and a 225-pound frame. Evaluators saw him as a solid 3-and-D wing who could immediately contribute in the NBA as a defender and perimeter shooter. Defensively, he played in one of college basketball’s top defensive systems. He can guard 1-4 and is willing to handle top defensive assignments. At Virginia he was a complimentary scorer who made the most in his role as a spot-up shooter, although he did show he can exploit mismatches and create for himself in the post.

On draft night, the Atlanta Hawks traded up to select Hunter with the fourth overall pick. While there were more intriguing and possibly higher upside prospects on the board, the Hawks were determined to add a defensive stopper and floor spacer to their roster. It took three of their 2019 picks, but with Hunter Atlanta got the star of the 2019 NCAA Tournament who hit a big three-pointer in the championship game. Many analysts felt it was a bit of a reach but a good pick for a young team trying to build a core of players for the future.

De’Andre Hunter made his NBA debut in Atlanta’s season opener against Detroit and scored 14 points in 117-100 win. So far this season, he’s started in 42 games while averaging 30.9 minutes, 12.0 points, 3.8 boards and 1.8 assists. Among all rookies, Hunter is 10th in points, ninth in rebounds and 15th in assists. His best game (arguably) was a 28-point performance in an overtime loss to Miami on December 10th. In the game, Hunter hit five three’s and added four rebounds, three assists and a block to his final line.

Check out De’Andre Hunter’s highlights from that game:

It has been another rough season for the Hawks. They’re currently tied with Golden State for fewest wins in the league with just 10. Just a few more months and Atlanta will once again be selecting in the top five at the draft. However, there are glimmers of hope for the future. Trae Young is a gifted scorer and John Collins is a solid threat in the post. Alongside those two, Hunter can be the top defender and floor spacer who brings everything together. Think Danny Green or Robert Covington. Both solid players who have carved out very nice careers in the NBA as defensive stoppers and three-point specialists. Playing in the Eastern Conference has benefits. All it takes is a good draft pick, some key free agent signings and an offseason of development and Atlanta can be in the playoff hunt for 2020-21.

If you’re a Hawks fan, it shouldn’t be hard to get De’Andre Hunter’s rookie cards into your collection. His Silver Prizms are currently selling for around $20-$30. If you want to save a bit of money, wait until the summer when hype for the 2020 draft has a chance to push the price of 2019 rookie cards down a few bucks. While he may not be projected as a future All-Star, Hunter can easily become a fan favorite and key contributor to winning down the line. Hawks fans should be happy for the future.

Look for De’Andre Hunter in his Virginia Cavaliers uniform in Panini’s 2019 collegiate basketball programs including Contenders Draft Picks, Prizm Draft Picks and Flawless Collegiate. As a top-5 pick, you can expect to find De’Andre Hunter in all of Panini’s 2019-20 NBA basketball programs including Hoops, Contenders, Crown Royale and many more to come.

Future Watch: De’Andre Hunter Rookie Basketball Cards, Hawks – Stats (as of 1/21/2020)

Per Game Table
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% 2P 2PA 2P% eFG% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2019-20 22 ATL NBA SF 43 42 30.9 4.4 10.7 .407 1.6 4.7 .337 2.8 6.0 .462 .481 1.7 2.2 .768 0.5 3.3 3.8 1.8 0.7 0.3 1.6 2.7 12.0
Career NBA 43 42 30.9 4.4 10.7 .407 1.6 4.7 .337 2.8 6.0 .462 .481 1.7 2.2 .768 0.5 3.3 3.8 1.8 0.7 0.3 1.6 2.7 12.0
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/21/2020.

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James Gale