After playing two years with the Duke Blue Devils, Matthew Hurt is looking to take his talents to the NBA. Though he lacks elite athleticism, the 21-year-old is one of the most skilled power forwards in the draft class. Hurt certainly has the ability to make an impact in today’s NBA.
Matthew Hurt 2021 NBA Draft Profile
While playing at Duke, under Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Hurt averaged 9.7 points and 3.8 rebounds in his freshman year. However, during the summer Hurt made some great strides in his game. He put up an impressive 18.3 points (1st in the ACC) on 44% shooting from beyond the arc. Furthermore, he had some big performances, including a 37 point game on 71% efficiency versus Louisville.
In a very inexperienced Duke team, Hurt played a key role in spacing the floor and operating in the post. In his sophomore season, over half of his shots came from the perimeter. He averaged 1.19 points per jump shot in the half-court [92nd percentile]. Hurt also ranked 1st in the ACC in post-up scoring (4.5 points per game), however, whether he will be able to translate this into the NBA is questionable.
Hurt’s ability to shoot efficiently at 6’9 is a standout in his game. He has proven his ability to shoot off the catch, while turning around, and has even shown flashes of good range off the dribble. Additionally, his high release point enables him to shoot some heavily contested midrange jumpers. Hurt also moves intelligently off the ball, in order to hunt for his perimeter jumpers. His shooting ability for a 6’9 forward, coupled with his off-ball movement is spectacular. Hurt’s post play was also impactful. He showcased exceptional footwork down low, showing off his ability to score off the jab and while spinning into a jumper. Hurt is an adequate playmaker. Although he can often make crafty passes to his teammates, he is also sometimes too careless which results in turnovers. As one of the most efficient players in the class, Hurt’s offensive game is overall quite strong.
Though his 235-pound frame has seen improvements since his freshman year (220 pounds), his rebounding and defense are still limited by his slim physique. In defensive isolation situations, he often loses quickness and length against more athletic forwards. As a result, teams can often exploit him on the defensive end. In terms of rebounding, Hurt has an absence of physicality and primarily relies on instincts. He needs to be more aggressive and much stronger to be an impactful rebounder. Therefore, it is expected that he will be a sub-par defender and rebounder at the NBA level. Furthermore, when driving to the rim Hurt lacks an explosive first step, which at times prevents him from getting past his defender. If Hurt is able to develop his first step and ability to finish in traffic, he will be a far more complete offensive player.
At best Matthew Hurt could turn out to be a similar version of Duncan Robinson, a solid role player for the Miami Heat. Both Robinson and Hurt excel and shooting, while struggling defensively and not being exceptional athletes. Although Hurt may play more of a big man role than Duncan does, there are definitely striking similarities in both of their play styles. To conclude, while there are some glaring weaknesses Hurt must amend, his skillset could propel him to being a solid role player in the NBA.
Matthew Hurt NBA Draft Projection
2nd round pick, in the 40s -50s.
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