Draft Profile: R.J. Hunter, 6'6, SG, 185 lbs., Junior, Georgia State

Draft Profile: R.J. Hunter, 6'6, SG, 185 lbs., Junior, Georgia State

Overview

Hunter is a 6’6 shooting guard that is known as a scorer coming from a small school. Hunter possesses average athleticism, good length, and can be a versatile offensive player. Hunter has the size, smarts, and skill-set to be a good player at the next level, but can he it do efficiently as his calling card is scoring, but was inefficient in college?

Athletic Ability

Hunter’s NBA gift is definitely not his athleticism. He is not a stiff, but he is of the same level of an athlete as a Kevin Martin type player. Hunter possesses solid lateral quickness and solid level of straight-line speed, but is a below the rim type player.

Size

At 6’6, Hunter presents average height at the shooting guard position with a very nice wing-span at near 6’11. While Hunter has nice length, he is very thin right now and can be bumped off his position both offensively and defensively. He will initially struggle with NBA physicality until he can add weight.

Basketball IQ

In this draft, Hunter has a top 10 basketball IQ and probably the second best at the shooting guard position behind D’Angelo Russell. Hunter is able to get his shot at almost any time within a system, can find players for passing opportunities, and can steal the ball while just being an average athlete.

Skill

Skill-wise, Hunter is very gifted offensively. His calling card is his long-range shot. While he is a shooter, he is gifted at getting shots off the curl from mid-range, off of backdoor cuts, some mid-range floaters, and some hesitation dribbles when limited to a dribble or two. He can also pass the ball as evidenced by his near 4 assists a game.

Defensively, Hunter averaged over 2 steals a game, 5 rebounds a game, and a good block a game at the shooting guard position. He can anticipate offensive players going to certain players and plays angles well.

While Hunter is very skilled and very heady, he has some big red flags in his game. Hunter’s calling card is his shot, but he only shot 30% from three this year and 35% for all three years. He can find many shots within an offense, but is not a player you can iso in many situations. Defensively, Hunter is just an average athlete, and his stats could be inflated by playing in a zone defense. It will most likely take time to develop the strength and skill-set to play man defense in a faster-pace NBA.

Overall

Overall, Hunter projects as being a solid athlete, having a nice feel for the game, and most importantly an offensive skill-set that would be vital for many teams looking for scoring at the NBA level. Can he be consistent? Can he flourish if he plays with other talented teammates as he was the only playmaker on his team last year? Or is he a product of playing for his dad and getting many volume shots in a game? His skill-set has the chance to be more efficient by playing with other playmakers. Gordon Hayward flourished when teamed up with other NBA players and was shooting like Hunter at the college level during his sophomore year.

How does he fit with the Bulls?

The Bulls need more offensive playmakers, scorers, and solid overall two-way players. Unlike Doug McDermott, Hunter has solid athleticism to be a two-way player. Also, unlike McDermott, Hunter did not prove to be as good of a shooter at the college level (although he has a pretty stroke and shot near 90% from the free throw line).

While I think Hunter has the chance to be more efficient than what he played at college by playing off other players instead of being the go-to-guy, I don’t think he will translate for a couple of years at this level. He definitely fits the Bulls M.O. of a high IQ guy, coach’s son, and the skill-set to play for Coach Hoiberg, I think the Bulls are better off going for someone that possesses a more proven skill-set at some capacity. I think players like Harrell and Delon Wright provide something more proven than Hunter right now.

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Comments

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  • Hunter scares me because I can't decide what he will be. I always doubt the rail-thin, shooters being able to succeed because I always think they will get pushed around and not get shots off. But then guys like Reggie Miller and to a lesser extent Tayshon Prince prove me wrong. His shooting numbers don't look promising, but I've heard a lot of the experts say not to worry about it. I just don't know.

  • Nice review Kevin. Personally I like Hunter better then a lot of these guys. Yes likely a wait until year two or three pay off, but he's got good odds of being a decent off the bench shooter in somebody's rotation down the line. He played a lot of minutes, but still his rebound and steals numbers speak well of his NBA viability. Appears to be a good kid. Bulls probably could do a lot worse then drafting R.J. Maybe he'll actually be able to shoot threes unlike Niko and McD.

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