De’Andre Hunter: Off-Ball Offense

Our scouting grades represent the composite opinion of at least three different scouts. Each category is graded based on how we view a player’s current ability level relative to NBA players at the same position (guard, wing, forward or big). A grade of 1 indicates replacement level, a grade of 5 indicates NBA average, and a grade of 10 indicates historically elite. Our composite scouting notes help provide context for our grades.


 
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Movement & positioning

While playing in the UVA system, Hunter hasn’t had a tremendous amount of opportunity to show his skill. Nonetheless, he is a smart relocator who finds soft spots in the defense and exploits them as a set shooter. He has been effective helping UVA breakdown zones by settling into soft spots and knocking down shots. This will be an area where his versatility and high intelligence will help him excel in the NBA because of his ability to diagnose where he will have an advantage. Willing to post smaller defenders and will draw larger rim protectors outside to create more space for teammates, making match ups a real issue.


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Screening

Hunter has a good frame for setting screens, but he needs to work on his technique. He tends to set screens with his base too narrow which causes him to be knocked off his spot from time to time and does not actually make enough contact to free up his teammates, instead rushing into his next offensive action. His body size and ability to catch and shoot as a pick-and-pop man will get him started in the NBA, but he will need to master higher level techniques to truly open all his avenues as a pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop guy (an area where he will hold tremendous value).


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Shooting off the catch

Hunter’s improving confidence shows a lot in this area. He is a capable shot maker on moderate attempts who shows great touch from mid-range. Combined with his strong free throw percentage, he has solid indicators of this translating to the NBA. He doesn't have many plays run for him (which fits with his best future role), but he is a great relocator who makes himself available to teammates and can knock down shots. One area of concern is that his shooting is largely an upper body action with little leg bend. He may have trouble translating his respectable three-point percentage to an NBA line unless he can maintain his upper body mechanics and add some lift and extension for strength.


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Shooting off movement

Hunter has not shown a lot of this particular skill during either his freshman or sophomore seasons. He generally likes to do one of two things instead of shooting on the move: attack the basket on the dribble after catching the ball, or slow down by using a dribble to avoid being out of control.


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Finishing off movement

Hunter struggles finishing off movement because he isn’t an explosive leaper off one foot. He doesn’t have tremendous burst and as a result doesn’t generate enough momentum to go up, over, and through defenders. He is a smart cutter and can create points behind the defense but likely will not be a curl or back screen option where he cannot build up momentum.