Former Maryland men’s basketball star Kevin Huerter has the potential to be the first Terrapin since Alex Len in 2013 to be drafted in the first round of the NBA draft.
There are several teams who are closely looking at the shooting guard between picks No. 18 and No. 25 which means Huerter most likely won’t have the prestige of being a lottery pick, but being taken anywhere in the first round is still an incredible honor for any basketball player.
Here are some of the teams that the Clifton Park, NY native could be joining according to the biggest publications and websites.
No. 18 to the San Antonio Spurs
Kawhi Leonard is on his way out, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are close to retiring, and LaMarcus Aldridge, while good, is not good enough to lead a team on his own. Huerter provides them with a lethal shooter from the outside, and someone who can drive to the rim.
His size is not only good for a guard mismatch behind the arc, but also for the pick-and-roll. And don’t discount his defense either. There is a lot of potential for Huerter to become a player like Jayson Tatum down in San Antonio. While his ceiling isn’t as high as Tatum’s was, there is potential for him to have a similar impact.
No. 19 to the Atlanta Hawks
Predicted by SB Nation: The Hawks are an intriguing place for Huerter to land. Right now, the team is very much in disarray and they don’t really have a current direction for the future.
While there are a few pieces on the current roster, specifically Dennis Schröder, it’s hard to say that the Hawks will be competitive in the coming years. Huerter would certainly get playing time with them if he were to get picked there. He provides adequate defense and more than enough offense. If Huerter is there, don’t be surprised if the Hawks decide to draft him.
No. 20 to the Minnesota Timberwolves
Predicted by ESPN: The Timberwolves are actually not a bad choice at all for Huerter.
Coming off their first playoff appearance since the 2003-2004 season, the Wolves are primed to make deeper playoff runs in the coming years. With the trio of Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler, they have a solid core and Huerter would only help them.
His outside game would play will into Tom Thibodeau’s system and the Target Center faithful would love him. Huerter is going to get playing time, especially after Jamal Crawford exercised his player option from the team and entered free agency.
No. 21 to the Utah Jazz
After the departure of Gordon Hayward to the Boston Celtics last season, rookie Donovan Mitchell became the star for the Jazz, taking them to the Western Conference semifinals this season.
It would only help Utah to draft a three-point threat with the potential of developing him more into an all-around player. Huerter has shown the attributes to be that type of player, and with a solid team around him like what the Jazz already have, he could develop into a 20-28 minute player for them in a few year’s time.
No. 25 to the Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers right now are thriving off of young prospects like Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram, and Huerter would give them another outside option with the ability to get to the cup.
However, the big problem for the Lakers is that they want to bring in LeBron James, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard this offseason, so they only have so much space on their roster. If they want to go big in free agency, Huerter might be heading down to the G-League instead of playing off the bench at Staples Center.