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Andrew Bogut gives scouting report on R.J. Hampton, LaMelo Ball


Although Andrew Bogut may not be slated for a return to the NBA, he is still competing with some of the league’s future talent as a center for the Sydney Kings in Australia’s NBL. This has allowed him to get a firsthand look at a couple of potential future first-round picks in LaMelo Ball and R.J. Hampton.

Both players have managed to make waves and are slated to become household names in the 2020 NBA Draft. Bogut offered up some of his insight after squaring off against Hampton this season, via Ethan Strauss of The Athletic

It’s very hard to judge some of these young kids because the jump from high school is a big step. Our league is officiating different. It’s physical, zones can be played. I think he’s done a pretty good job. I like his upside. As far as his length and athleticism, playing the point, I think he’s in that mold of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. His 3-ball’s not there yet, but he does a great job getting in the paint, he’s a willing passer and he’s very good defensively.

We played him in the preseason and he blocked a few 3- point shots from our guards that he had no business getting a hand on. So he’s very athletic in that sense and he has some dog in him. He was very fiery when we played him, very (Russell) Westbrook-esque with his emotions, and yelling, which I respect. He went out there and really plays like he cares. He’s inconsistent, which can be a knock, but we are a professional league and there are only nine teams. It’s very competitive and once you’ve played a team once, everyone knows each other’s sets, and what they’re trying to do, so I think he’s handled himself very well to this point and I think he’ll be a good guy in the draft. I think he has a chance to be a very good player.

Although he has not played against Ball yet, his play has not gone unnoticed.

Obviously a player who knows how to read the game well. You can tell when he gets in the lane and a guy helps, he can tell exactly where the guy is helping from and where the ball should go. Unbelievable passer and playmaker. I think sometimes very flashy, both positively and negatively sometimes. That flair in playmaking, that can help and hinder at times. That comes with the territory of being a young fellow.

The knock right now is his 3-point shot. I think he’s shooting in the low-20s, but he’s still shooting them. I can tell you that. He’s not afraid to hoist them up and he’s hoisting them from Steph Curry range, four, five feet behind the line, which is interesting for a guy shooting them at 20 percent. But he’s not lacking confidence. For an 18-year-old, I think he’s done a pretty good job. I think his No. 1 aspect is the ability to get in the paint with his speed and quickness, plus he generally makes the right decision when he gets there.

Bogut’s praise certainly goes a long way considering he has been around his fair share of superstars during his 14-year NBA career. While it is still early, he clearly feels they have the potential to make an impact at the next level.

The 2019-20 NBA season has just begun and it remains to be seen which teams will ultimately end up with the most ideal position in the lottery. However, it is safe to assume that either one of Ball or Hampton will be pegged as a bonafide top pick when the time comes.