2015 NBA Draft Player Profile: RJ Hunter


Ronald Jordan Hunter would much rather be called RJ and I can’t blame him, it sounds ten times cooler plus adds flow. Hunter was picked during the backend of the draft and almost slipped into the second, but Boston stepped in and decided to take a shot on Georgia State’s all-time leading scorer.

Throughout his career, Hunter has demonstrated exceptional gifts on the scoring side of the game. He came in guns-blazing and dropped totals of 18.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG and 2.4 APG while converting on 43% of his field goals. The fact of the matter is Hunter is a bona fide scoring machine who has the ability to obliterate defences in countless ways. You would assume that based on this he’d be a high profile player, but that mindset is stopped right in its tracks due to his age.

Hunter spent an odd 3 years at college and is currently 21 years old. Franchises are reluctant when choosing players in their twenties because they fear lack of developmental potential. In Hunter’s case he stayed virtually the same statistically from inception to the twilight phase of his college career. This may not hold well in terms of predicting how much room he has left to improve.

Summer League:

Hunter’s summer league reel does not accurately depict his scoring talent due to the fact he had some slip-ups and scored zero points in a couple games. This led to the numbers being skewed in a small sample size but despite this, he still put together a line of 12 PPG, 2.8 RPG and 1.2 APG in about 22 minutes per contest. Hunter displayed flashes of potent scoring on multiple occasions with a high of 22 points against the Spurs and 21 against Philly.

Red flags popped up all over the place for Hunter though, and they cannot be hidden. His efficiency is in question after only scoring on 31% from the field. This was a blend of ill-advised shots and simply not making shots within his normal capabilities. Hunter’s woes continued on the defensive end where he was made to look like a fool on more than one occasion due to poor positioning and lack of strength. Given all of the above, it might be too early to predict Hunter’s future success, it all depends on if he can improve his IQ and consistency levels.

Fit On The Boston Celtics:

Graphic via foxsports

The Celtics are a decent fit for Hunter, but things will definitely not be easy. Hunter will have to compete and claw for every minute on the court and if he fails to produce Boston has a plethora of other guards at their disposal. One thing to keep an eye on is Hunter’s interactions with Isaiah Thomas. If things go well, Hunter can learn from one of the best sixth men scoring options in the league. On the opposite side of probabilities, Hunter and Thomas have overlapping roles and having two high usage scorers on the bench may not bode well.

Adding to this, the Celtics are going to be fighting for a playoff position in a conquerable Eastern Conference so they may elect to neglect Hunter in favor of experienced players. If Hunter wants to see the hardwood he will need to give his all night-in and night-out, but even that may not be enough.

Overall, this competitive environment can do wonders for a player like Hunter. Now all we have to do is wait and see if he can rise to the occasion.

Graphic via nba

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