Hunter Selected 4th Overall In NBA Draft

De’Andre Hunter drives against Notre Dame’s D.J. Harvey earlier this season.

University of Virginia forward De’Andre Hunter was selected fourth overall by the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night in the first round of the NBA Draft. The pick was already part of a trade between the Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans, but is now part of a proposed trade to the Atlanta Hawks.

The 6-foot-7, 225-pounder from Philadelphia played two seasons at UVA after taking a redshirt year upon arrival. He posted career averages of 12.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He shot 51 percent from the floor as a Cavalier (309 for 607 FG), 42 percent (67 for 160) from 3-point range, and 77 percent (197 for 255) from the free-throw line.

Hunter is the highest UVA draft pick since the great Ralph Sampson went to Houston with the top pick in 1983, and the fourth Cavalier to be taken in the top 10 (1-Sampson, 1983; 5-Wally Walker, 1976; 8-Olden Polynice, 1987).

Hunter, who was named ACC and National Defensive Player of the Year, averaged 15.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and a pair of assists as a redshirt sophomore, leading the Cavaliers to their first-ever national championship in April.

The Lakers dealt the original pick to New Orleans on Saturday as part of a multi-player trade that would send All-Star Anthony Davis from the Pelicans to the Lakers, pending league approval (which could take another couple of weeks to complete).

The Hawks traded the No. 8, 17 and 35 picks to the Pelicans to move up and snag Hunter at 4. The No. 4 pick is slotted for a rookie salary of $5.88 million, with raises up to $8.19 million in the fourth year.

Jonathan Givony of Draft Express said that Hunter “decided very early on that he wanted to play for the Atlanta Hawks. He did not work out for any other team after visiting them shortly after the NBA Combine. Atlanta had to make moves to ensure they got them.”

If everything goes through, Hunter could potentially be future teammates with another former ‘Hoo and first-round choice, Justin Anderson, in the ATL.


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