2019 NBA Mock Draft: Full first round as lottery nears

(Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lance King/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) /

De'Andre Hunter. 5. player. 125. . SF. Virginia

Age: 21
Height, Weight: 6-foot-8, 222 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

The first of two opening-round picks, the Atlanta Hawks are in position to add to their developing, young core of Trae Young and Kevin Huerter. Even if these two improve, they can’t do it alone. There is an intriguing enough talent to supplement these players at fifth, too.

De’Andre Hunter helped the Virginia Cavaliers to their first-ever National Championship in early April. With the desired wing height and a good offensive game, he lived up to expectations in a first full year as a starter and put on a showcase in the title game.

With a wingspan that exceeds seven feet, Hunter easily slides into the middle of any NBA lineup or as a power forward. He can rebound enough to play off a center and stretch the floor as the “power forward.”

The Hawks can use Hunter in either situation, whether as the defensive piece to glue the team together or showcase offensively as a 15-to-20 point scorer for the next 10-to-15 years. The opening is there, as Tauren Prince is the closest player to this for Atlanta.

Hunter is just the first step towards Atlanta’s game-changing draft and the next part of their possible rise up the Eastern Conference. The New York Knicks can use him for their own climb, as he gives head coach David Fizdale a versatile player to work around the lineup.