With the 21st pick in the draft, the faux-Mavericks select the very real prospect that is R.J. Hunter.
From Mavs Moneyball: This is a guy we've been targeting all along. Dallas needs shooting and, with Monta Ellis likely leaving, a secondary playmaker to handle the ball. We like several other players still on the board -- Trey Lyles and Sam Dekker have both fallen, in our eyes -- but Hunter is the pick. Had Hunter been taken a pick or two before, we may have pushed harder to shed Raymond Felton's expiring contract while trading down. Fortunately, our guy is still on the board and it was impossible not to pull the trigger.
Kevin: This is filling a huge need for the Mavs. They needed another wing scorer and if Monta Ellis leaves in free agency this offseason then this an even bigger need. Hunter is a bit of enigma of what he could potentially be in the league. He’s got parking lot range, can play both guard positions in a pinch (he’s got handles y’all and can run the pick and roll like a champ) and he has no lack of confidence.
This is where he gets in trouble though. He’s a streaky shooter, I’ll say like John Starks, he can’t create his own offense and he has a tough time finishing at the rim. He has the physical and mental make up to fix this and Rick Carlisle can definitely get him to where he needs to be and fast.
Dontae: The Mavericks find themselves in a bit of a conundrum in the backcourt. Rajon Rondo is surely gone from Dallas, and Monta Ellis maybe out the door this summer also.
RJ Hunter's stock is at an all-time high, but is that because of his tournament play or because he legit prospect?
Now you could point to his 29 percent shooting from three and see the negatives or you can look to his 88 percent free throw shooting and see the positives. I believe he'll price out to be a good shooter. The reason his shooting percentage, from three, stood at 29 percent, was due to the attention being the focal point of Georgia State's offense. He won't have to worry about that in the pros.
He's a decent ball handler, and projects as a shooting guard that can keep the offense moving on the dribble or via the pass instead of being a ball stopper. But that's his ceiling. Realistically who knows who he will be playing with in the backcourt. That brings Hunter's projected impact at the NBA level a bit sketchy.
Taylor: This brings the Monta era to a close in Dallas. Another sun sets on Mr. Ellis. Hunter has good size for a shooting guard (6'6"), but he's pretty thin. Bigger guards like Joe Johnson or Klay Thompson will abuse him in the post. I don't expect him to be too much of a playmaker, but he does have good vision and is a coach's son so you know he has a high basketball IQ. Fans should like him because he's animated on the court but doesn't want the spotlight of the media. He's a quiet kid, but he's a good person and a team leader. He should fit in with Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks. This pick fills a need and fills it pretty well in my opinion. They could have done a lot worse.
Lucas: Hunter measures at 6’5" and also boasts an 6’9.5" wingspan, giving him good size and great length for the shooting guard position. As a prospect, Hunter is a bit of a conundrum in my mind. He is billed as a great shooter, and certainly possesses great range and a nice touch. Yet, he shot an abysmal 30.8% from behind the arc last season, and also has peculiar release point on his jumpshot. In all likelihood, his 39.5% three point percentage from deep is more indicative of his shooting ability than his percentage from this past season. It will be interesting to see how much Hunter can contribute right immediately considering that he only weighs 180 pounds, and will need to put on at least 20-25 pounds in order to to be able to penetrate the lane and create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates.