With the 2015 NBA Draft a day away, we conclude our look at some of the players who may be available for the Portland Trail Blazers at the number 23 selection. Up today is R.J. Hunter.
A 6'6 guard from Georgia State, Hunter is considered by many draft experts to be the best pure shooter in the entire draft. With a range that extends to nearly half court, Hunter was a prolific scorer in his three years with the Panthers. He averaged 19.7 points per game last season as the Panthers made it into the Round of 32 where they fell to Xavier.
1) Shooting. This is another CJ McCollum/Damian Lillard/Stephen Curry situation with a player from a smaller school absolutely shooting the lights out of the arena. He is a dominant scorer off of screens, and is willing to take any shot at any time. Does not have the fastest release time in the world, but a solid consistent stroke.
2) Decent rebounding guard. Averaged five rebounds per game for his entire college career, and is willing to fight against bigger players for boards. Not going to wow you with rebounding numbers, and will very rarely get more than six a game, but good instincts for ball trajectory.
3) Pesky hands. Does not have the front end speed to start fast breaks by himself, but gets his hands into passing lanes and annoys opposing scorers. Averaged two steals per game last season, though faster players were able to blow right past him.
1) Streaky. He shot just 47% on shots inside the paint last season, a bad mark in a strong conference and a terrible one in a sub-par Sun Belt Conference. He shies away from contact and settles for light floating shots when in the lane, which he only hit 26% of last season. While he shot 40% from three his sophomore year, he dropped to 30% last year. Unless he toughens up his inside game, his 89% free throw shooting percentage, which made up for his underwhelming shooting numbers last season, will not matter.
2) Poor competition. Georgia State was easily the best team in the Sun Belt last season with three stars on the team (Hunter, Ryan Harrow, and Louisville transfer Kevin Ware). The Panthers played only five teams from power conferences last season, and Hunter shot a combined 39.7% from the field and 33% from three against them.
3) Poor ball handling. While he is a solid passer, he cannot create his own shot and gets locked down in most 1-on-1 situations. His turnovers shot up to 2.2 per game last season, and when combined with his average explosiveness it creates a glaring need for the offense to revolve around screens for him.
Floor and Ceiling:
His ceiling is Klay Thompson, a similar sized shooting guard with unlimited shooting range.
His floor is J.R. Giddens, a solid scorer at a smaller school who never found consistency in the pros.