In advance of the 2018 NBA Draft, Peachtree Hoops will be breaking down prospects, both from the college ranks and internationally, with an eye toward what the Atlanta Hawks will be evaluating in the coming days. More than 50 prospects will be profiled in this space and, in the end, the goal is to inform Hawks fans prior to June 21, when the Hawks are scheduled to make four selections with the first 34 picks.
Today’s installment centers on Boise State forward Chandler Hutchison.
At this stage, four-year college players don’t often land in the first round of the NBA Draft but there are a few exceptions. In short, Boise State forward Chandler Hutchison is in line to be one of them.
After a full-fledged breakout during his final two seasons at the collegiate level, Hutchison isn’t generating a ton of lottery-level buzz at this stage. In the same breath, the 22-year-old declined to participate in the 2018 NBA Draft Combine and whispers indicate that the decision may have come as a result of a “guarantee” somewhere in the 20’s on draft night.
It is easy to see why Hutchison would have suitors, especially given his offensive profile. As a senior, Hutchison averaged 20.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game as the centerpiece for Boise State and his production came in an efficient manner. He posted a 57.5 percent true shooting (with a stellar 25.9 PER) during his final season and Hutchison’s ability to generate high-quality offense is primarily what makes him an appealing first round prospect.
Hutchison doesn’t have official measurements but he is believed to be 6’7 with a wingspan nearing 7’0 at this stage. He presents the ability to create for himself as a scorer, both off the dribble and off the catch, with only a slight fear of underwhelming three-point shooting. Hutchison converted 36.5 percent of his three-point attempts over his final two college seasons, though, and there is no reason to believe that he will be a liability in that area.
It is certainly fair to point out that his ceiling could be limited if his jumper does not continue to progress but his mechanics are reasonable and there will be plenty of opportunity to grow. Aside from that, he proved at the college level that he has the athleticism, size and instincts to rebound at a high level and, defensively, the tools are there for a quality, two-way option in the NBA.
Teams drafting for full-blown upside may look in a different direction than Hutchison, simply due to age. Still, it would be a mistake to overlook him entirely, as he fits the mold of a player that could potentially function positively on an NBA court immediately. Beyond that, the NBA is in dire need of quality, two-way contributions at the position Hutchison occupies and that should aid in providing additional value, wherever he may land.
From the perspective of the Atlanta Hawks, all indications are that Hutchison will be off the board by No. 30 overall, though he would be a steal at that juncture. At No. 19 overall, Hutchison should be, at least in my view, under serious consideration, especially in the event that the Hawks add a big man in the mold of Marvin Bagley III or Jaren Jackson Jr. at the top of the draft.
There are other “sexier” prospects (Anfernee Simons, Dzanan Musa, Zhaire Smith, etc.) in the same range but Hutchison has an impressive skill set and his first round projection makes sense as a result.