clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2018 NBA Draft Player Profile: Kevin Huerter

New, comments

The young guard is picking up a lot of steam heading into the draft

With the draft closing in on us pretty quickly, Maryland’s sophomore guard Kevin Huerter has been a hot name recently. He had a great season for a solid Maryland team, and decided it was time to make the jump to the NBA after receiving a promise from a team in the first round. While he’s known for his shooting, he’s also got great potential in other areas of his game that certainly makes him deserving of a first round pick.

College Stats

  • Per Game: 34.4 minutes, 14.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.7 blocks
  • Per 40: 17.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.9 rebounds, 0.7 steals, 0.8 blocks
  • Advanced: Off Rtg 119.0, Def Rtg 102.9, PER 19.4, WS/48 0.165, AST% 20.3
  • Shooting: FG% .503, 3PT% .427, FT% .758, TS% .640, eFG% .616

NBA Combine Results

  • Age: 19
  • Height: 6’7.25”
  • Weight: 194 pounds
  • Wingspan: 6’7.5”
  • Max Vertical: 38 inches

Strengths

Huerter was a knockdown shooter in college and could do so in multiple ways, including off curls and pull-ups. His shooting form certainly reminds you of some of the game’s best shooters. According to TheStepien.com he also hit about 40% of his 3’s from NBA range, so there’s minimal concern about his shooting translating. He tested well athletically at the combine, with his lane agility time, shuttle run, and 34 quart spring all coming within the top 10 of the class. This size and speed allows him some advantages against smaller or slower players, and also helps him stay in front of his man on the defensive end.

He’s not just a shooter, but can dribble-drive and create his own shot as well. He’s an incredibly good finisher around the rim, making 73.3% of his shots from there. His ability to make shots from all over the floor made him a consistent offensive threat for Maryland. He possesses good vision while driving too. He’s clearly worked on the mechanics of his game, which can be seen from his balance while driving but also on his step-backs. Here’s a pretty decent highlight reel showing his offensive game.

Weaknesses

While 6’7” is good height for a wing, you’d like to see a little more length in an NBA body. He may struggle more getting self-created shots off against longer, more athletic wings. He wasn’t always the best decision maker, which can be seen in that video as well. He could be more decisive and careful with the ball, which should come with time in the league.

The lower free throw percentage is a little surprising and leaves something to be desired, as does his relatively low free throw rate. Unlike Dante Exum, Huerter does not have a quick first step. This makes it more difficult for him to get by his guys even at the college level, so that will only be more difficult in the NBA.

Utah Jazz Fit

Near-perfect. He’s a great shooter that understands how to play the pick and roll. He can create his own shot, but is also a willing and capable passer. His height and rebounding numbers also show he can help on the defensive glass. The Jazz could really use a knock down shooter off the bench and he would certainly be able to fill that role. A lot of Jazz fans would love to sign Klay Thompson next summer. One of Huerter’s better comparisons in regards to his ceiling could very well be Klay. He could use some coaching on the defensive end, and his lack of length doesn’t quite fit the mold of wings on the Jazz roster. With how good the Jazz defense is, however, I think it would worth the risk to see if a player that is good on the offensive end and just ok defensively wouldn’t hurt the Jazz defense overall.

Huerter is one of my favorite players in the draft around Utah’s 21st pick. The Jazz were actually rumored to be the team that gave Huerter the 1st round promise. Even if that’s not true, I think he’d fit in with this roster really well and I’m sure he’s on Dennis Lindsey’s short list. I’d be excited if the Jazz were able to get him.

Special thanks to basketball-reference.com, stats.nba.com, and thestepien.com