Hunter already showing signs of helping Hawks take flight

Hawks rookie De’Andre Hunter was selected with the foutth overall draft pick.

The Atlanta Hawks are already impressed with De’Andre Hunter, the rookie small forward who is coming off a national championship at Virginia.

“We’re going to love De’Andre. That’s all I can say,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said, before saying more. “We’re going to love De’Andre. I’ve coached a couple guys who have played deep into the NCAA Tournament. He’s the first one I can say, ‘I see why Virginia won.’ I see why they won. He’s got a poise about him. Nothing rattles him.”

Hunter is 6-foot-7 and was selected with the fourth overall draft pick. He has indeed made a name for himself as sort of a poor man’s Kawhi Leonard — as a cool, calm and collected two-way player in college.

The Hawks are hoping Hunter continues those traits in the pros. If so, he should be a great fit next to the likes of Trae Young, John Collins and others for an exciting team on the rise.

“He’s not going to say much. He’s very humble, and on the court it’s just all about business,” Pierce said. “He knows all five spots already. Defensively he’s about as solid as they come. He’s going to make open shots. And he actually puts it on the floor; I’ve got a ton of respect for that kid already.”