RJ Hampton was a highly rated prospect coming out of high school, but he fell all the way to the Denver Nuggets at the NBA Draft, who selected him with the 24th overall pick. Hampton may have a ton of questions coming into his rookie season, but the possibilities are endless.
On the daily Locked On Nuggets Podcast, hosts Matt Moore (HPBasketball) and Adam Mares discuss the newest Nugget, RJ Hampton, and how he may become a key piece for Denver moving forward.
Matt Moore: When you get into the second round of the NBA Draft, most of these guys are just gonna be dudes. Some of them won’t even be in the NBA down the line and that’s entirely possible once you get past pick 20. If Zeke Nnaji turns into a solid, reliable backup center. That’s a hit. If RJ Hampton turns into a microwave scorer type that you’re able to turn to and he gives you some minutes to get through rough stretches when there are injuries, that’s a win. You have to set the bar really low here.
Adam Mares: It might be lower than that. Just look at Torrey Craig, a rotation piece on a playoff team, a Western Conference Finals team, Monte Morris—same thing. Gary Harris, Will Barton. Can he be one of those guys his level? If so you get a rotation piece at 24? That’s a great deal.
I think he might have more upside than that. Actually, I know he has more upside than that. That’s the thing that’s kind of intriguing about him, especially when you put him and Nnaji together. Could Nnaji end up being the power forward alongside Jokic long term? Maybe, I’m not betting on it. I think it’s a really, really long shot, but I think he does project to be a backup big that can be very serviceable. However, if I told you RJ Hampton was the starting shooting guard of the future for Denver, meaning at some point, that’s the guy they rely on for that role, you’d say that is well within the realm of possibility for him. That’s why he’s so intriguing and that’s why to me he’s the marquee of the draft for Denver because right now they might be even prospects, but going forward, RJ Hampton has the ceiling out there that I think is meaningful.