Kevin Huerter, Maryland
6-foot-7, 190 lbs
Three college highlights
1. Huerter proved himself to be a consistent threat in the Big Ten last season, scoring in double figures in Maryland’s final 25 games. This stretch started with a 23-point outburst against Syracuse, a game in which Huerter converted on 7 of 9 3-point attempts. During this stretch of games — a time when Maryland was solely reliant on Huerter and guard Anthony Cowan as the main offensively contributors due to a plethora of injuries — Huerter maintained consistency while never taking more than 15 field goal attempts during that stretch.
2. Though Cowan was the team’s primary ball-handler, Huerter was often the go-to target for Maryland coach Mark Turgeon in late-game situations. Despite struggling for much of the game on the road against No. 23 Michigan in mid-January, Huerter was the recipient of Turgeon’s late-game, out-of-timeout play call. Huerter rewarded the confidence, nailing a go-ahead 3-pointer off multiple screens to take a one-point lead with under five seconds left.
3. With Maryland’s slim NCAA Tournament hopes teetering in the balance, Huerter asserted himself, showing off his 3-point range and patiently picking his spots to attack the rim. He scored 22 points in the game, leading the Terrapins to a 16-point win.
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For his length, Huerter is an elite-level shooter, shooting 39.4 percent from 3-point range in two seasons at Maryland. At 6-foot-7, Huerter can also get his shot off against most defenders who will guard him. He improved from scoring 9.3 points per game his freshman year to 14.8 his sophomore season. His skillset is Kyle Korver-esque, with a tad more athleticism. Huerter’s size and athleticism fit the mold of a modern wing who can defend multiple different positions. He’s a defined role player, but at 19 a solid role player would be strong value for the Hawks.
Just because his size allows him to defend multiple positions doesn’t mean he’s strong defensively. He’ll likely be an adequate NBA defender, but not one who will lock down the opposition’s best player. Huerter likely doesn’t have the handle to ever feature as a primary ball-handler in pick-and-roll situations. While his shooting will allow him to contribute as an NBA player, this will likely limit his offensive ceiling.
How he fits with the Hawks
At Maryland, Huerter was often tasked with creating shots for himself, a challenge he was capable of doing. But in Atlanta, Huerter will likely be more of a catch-and-shoot presence, at least in his first few seasons with the Hawks. Adding Huerter to Trae Young seriously boosts the Hawks’ shooting immediately. But when asked what made Young the right fit, Hawks GM Travis Schlenk said, “We love his ability to pass the ball, to make other players better with his court vision.” With less of a focus on creating offense for himself, Huerter should be an immediate beneficiary of Young’s vision.
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