NBA Draft: RJ Hampton A Long Road to the NBA

This week the NBA will finally hold their draft. On Wednesday many will find their dreams come true, and others will end up in Cleveland. Okay, a bad joke at a good city’s expense. This is a night that these young men have waited for since they started playing the game. The paths they took to get here are all different and have made each the player they are now. Let’s take a look at one of the best in the draft. RJ Hampton.

RJ Hampton NBA Draft

This young man has taken an unusual path to get o the NBA. He has had a lot of experience playing international type basketball. To start he played on the 16 and under USA National team in 2017. They took home the gold in the FIBA Americas championships games. Then he took part in the 17 and Under USA men’s national team that played at the world cup. Again he carried away a gold medal.

After tearing up high school competition at Little Elm High School in Texas he became a top-five recruit. But that was not his goal, to go the college one and done rout. Instead, he took his talent to the NBL of the Australian league. He only got to play in 15 games and averaged a low 8.8 points a game. But let’s remember he was playing against grown men and his teammates were a step or two below the talent he will have around him in the NBA.

That experience should bold well for him though as he got to learn how to coexist with more mature men. He also got to play a pro game in the NBL than in college. As he stated recently here in an interview;

The guy has all the skills to be an NBA point that is for sure. In just a few minutes you tell this guy has the IQ as well. He plays the sort of game as a Jamal Murray. He can create his own shot and is fearless when driving to the hole. That will serve him well if he continues to attack the lane in the NBA. He has great court vision as well. When he drives he is able to kick the ball out to an open man no matter if he is cross-court and with accuracy.

At Six-foot-seven he is a very long guard and can cover both guards and small forwards if need be. Although he can run a pick and roll well on offense, he has trouble defending the same play. The only other down on him I see is even at his size he does not seem to display strength. I am sure once the conditioning coach of the NBA team he lands will take care of that though. Will he come in and dominate? No, not right away, but if he plays with that same fearlessness he is known for then he will make his mark.

It has been said he could go from four to 12 in the draft. Where ever he ends up he will be there to be the number one guard and a backup so it will be a place where he is needed. The Hornets, the Knicks, and the Suns are all possible landing spots. I have even seen him headed to Orlando at 15. I don’t think he will last that long as he is a special player that will pay off for some team. If I am the Knicks this could your man for a long time.

He has the skills and the personality to handle the lights and the media in the Big Apple. He can handle the point and could be a great piece to building a solid team in NY. Wherever he lands he will not be a disappointment. More to come on the NBA draft as we will show you some of the best available for your favorite team.

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I am a Locker room journalist for the NBA and XFL. I love sports and I love covering sports even more. Let me share my love of sports with you.