New York Knicks: Top five 2019 NBA Draft prospects after NCAA Tournament

Virginia De'Andre Hunter (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Virginia De'Andre Hunter (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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Virginia De’Andre Hunter (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Virginia De’Andre Hunter (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

4. De’Andre Hunter, Virginia

Age: 20
Height, Weight: 6-foot-7, 225 pounds
Slash Line: .520/.438/.783
Season Averages: 15.2 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.6 BPG, 1.2 3PM

De’Andre Hunter’s abilities were only teased as a freshman, and he came through as one of Virginia’s top players one year later. The decision to return to school not only benefited him, but his school, with a National Championship Game win after the disparaging defeat to UMBC in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

The title game was Hunter’s moment to shine. He scored a career-high 27 points on nine rebounds and one steal to lead the Cavaliers to their first-ever championship.

What better time to have a night like this than the National Championship Game? It spotlighted Hunter greater than most of the fringe top-five prospects this postseason, including part of Duke’s stud trio, Keldon Johnson, Coby White and others potentially set for the top 10.

Hunter’s defense is already there, which boosts his value. It comes with a 6-foot-8 frame and a 7-foot-4 wingspan, which is tantalizing enough for a wing prospects in an NBA that seeks the next, lanky forwards to provide matchup issues and defend the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.

At just 2.8 three-pointers per game, Hunter’s outside shooting won’t shine like other prospects, but he did it on an efficient 43.8 percent. If the attempts increase and he maintains a number between 35 and 40 percent, that’s a win.

With the current roster construction, the New York Knicks don’t have this. Even if Durant signs, nothing should stop them from selecting Hunter at the back-end of the top five, pending they fall that far.