ESPN Insider pegs RJ Hunter as 6th most effective rookie
There are a lot of buzz words in "the new NBA" aka "today's NBA." There's rim protection. A lot of talk about length, some talk about players being bouncy. Three and D. Everyone wants players that can stretch the floor. You have to defend the pick and roll, ideally with players that can guard multiple positions and have good motors.
What we don't hear enough about is who's going to be effective. Who's going to go out there and get shit done?
Well, ESPN Insider thinks RJ Hunter could be one of those rookies that makes a legit impact. In a piece by Kevin Pelton, Hunter trails only fellow rookies in waiting Karl-Anthony Towns, "Uncle" Frank Kaminsky, Delon Wright, D'Angelo Russell, and Kristaps Porzingis in terms of effectiveness. Why? Because the kid bombs threes and causes turnovers:
Hunter is a favorite of my projections because of his frequent 3-point attempts and high steal and block rates. After missing his first eight shots during the first two nights of the Utah Summer League, he righted the ship and made almost 39 percent of his 3s the rest of the way. Hunter bolstered his efficiency by attempting 5.4 free throws per game. But he'll have to improve at containing the ball on the perimeter to make use of his offensive skills as a rookie.
Sounds good to me. Celtics fans got a taste of what Hunter could do in Vegas Summer League and the lanky sharpshooter definitely has long arms and a nose for the ball. Sure, he needs to do some lat pulldowns and drink some milk. But if Pelton, who's handle on what works in "the new NBA" is strong, thinks the Georgia State product's game can translate into a solid rookie campaign... that's a nice vote of confidence as Hunter prepares for his first season in green.