2020 NBA Draft Profile: RJ Hampton
6’5 | PG | 19.2 | New Zealand | 2001
RJ Hampton is an athletic guard with great size and budding ability as a scorer and shot creator coming off an injury-shortened campaign with the New Zealand Breakers in the Australian NBL. The son of former SMU point guard Rod Hampton, he emerged as a top player in the high school class of 2020 very early in his career scoring 33 points in his debut as a freshman at Little Elm High School (TX). Showing well on the United States teams that took gold at the 2017 FIBA U16 Americas Championship and 2018 FIBA U17 World Championship between standout showings on each major grassroots circuit, Hampton opted to reclassify to the class of 2019 before eschewing offers from every major college in the country to join the NBL Next Stars program. Averaging 8.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assists over 20.6 minutes per game, Hampton turned in some strong showings in his first season at the professional level displaying intriguing long-term upside.
- Standing 6’5 with an improving 190-pound frame and a 6’7 wingspan, Hampton has the size to play either guard position and is a terrific athlete with prototypical speed and explosiveness by NBA standards.
- Playing primarily on the ball last season, Hampton filled a complementary role for a veteran team. His quickness shined in spurts as a shot creator out of the pick and roll and in the open court even though his ball handling ability and jump shot are still evolving to allow him to make the most of it consistently.
- Covering ground impressively on the defensive end, Hampton may not have a lot of high-level experience, but he made some eye-opening plays rotating on the perimeter, protecting the rim, and getting in the passing lanes. With terrific lateral speed, he has potential as a multi-positional defender as his frame matures.
- Despite playing alongside a half dozen veterans scoring in double figures, Hampton nonetheless got quite a few opportunities to create his own shot as a rookie with a third of his possessions coming in ball screen situations. Averaging 0.94 points per pick and roll possession [64th percentile], he showed the burst to get downhill, finished emphatically on a few occasions, and made several pull-up jumpers as defenders began going under in response. When he was aggressive, he showed the ability to put pressure on the rim and create contact.
- His athleticism was also factor in the open court where he averaged 1.10 points per transition possession [46th percentile] making some spectacular plays weaving his way around defenders and filling lanes to finish above the rim. He also did a better job limiting his mistakes as the year wore on.
- Displaying some talent as a passer but still learning how to manipulate defenses, refining his ball handling ability, and figuring out how to pick and choose when to be aggressive, Hampton flashes some ability as a passer.
- Scoring 0.69 points per jump shot in the half court [17th percentile], his mechanics are promising but look more fluid on some attempts than others as he is still evolving as a floor spacer and pull-up threat. With the potential to play a variety of backcourt roles depending on how his skill set evolves, Hampton’s talent is apparent, but his consistency is a work in progress.
|Pick & Roll||Spot Up|
- Possessing good size and excellent speed, Hampton has some natural growing to do defensively as he gains experience and gets stronger, but was a difference maker in spurts in his first season as a pro. With the length and quickness to get in the passing lanes and the leaping ability to chase down opposing scorers in transition, he had some impactful moments.
- More active off the ball and physical on it sometimes than others, Hampton is early in his development defensively, but has significant potential.