Reality began for R.. J. . Hampton around 15. or 16. Election in last Wednesday’s NBA draft.
His trainer, Mike Miller, was in contact with Tim Connelly, president of Nuggets for basketball, and Hampton felt he might end up in Denver. After seeing Zeke Nnaji at No.. 22, Hampton was still on the board. His camp knew that a trade was possible.
Connelly took the opportunity to meet Hampton at No. . 24 and sent a lottery-protected future first choice to New Orleans. They thought Hampton was gone almost 10 picks early.
« I think they are the top talent assessors, » Hampton said on a Zoom call Tuesday morning. “You see real talent. A lot of the people at that 1-13 place were kind of crazy to have Michael Porter Jr. (2018) missed. . And the guys who slipped on Bol Bol are kind of crazy that they missed it. It will be the same with me. I will continue to work hard every day and show people that the Nuggets are real talent assessors. See what they missed. ”
The 6-foot-5 combo guard bypassed college despite several offers from blue-blood schools and spent his final season with the New Zealand Breakers. It was there that he demonstrated his skills as a three-step goalscorer and his breakneck speed which has drawn comparisons to Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. Rather than shy away from comparing two former MVPs, Hampton leans on them.
Miller, who trained Hampton for months and helped improve his 3-point punch, told the Denver Post he believed his student had all-star potential. Both have said that they believe he can become a high-30s, low-40% 3-point shooter over time.
« I like that very much, » he said of the all-star potential. “I like the pressure. My biggest goal was to make it to the NBA, but just wasn’t being a normal guy in the NBA. I want to be one of the best ever. ”
In Denver it has to start slowly. Not only is Hampton facing perhaps the most chaotic off-season in NBA history, with the shortest turnaround time from night to training camp, but he’s stepping into a crowded backyard.
Jamal Murray is the Denver star who set opposing defenses on fire during the last dazzling Nuggets playoff run. His backup, Monte Morris, is just as reliable a point guard as in the NBA. Gary Harris had two months to fully recover from an agonizing hip injury that handicapped him in Orlando and the Nuggets add veteran Real Madrid point guard Facundo Campazzo. They also have skilled moderators in P. . J. . Dozier and Will Barton.
« I think this is good for me, » said Hampton. “It gives me the opportunity to learn immediately from the guys Denver already has. I am a guy who can do everything. If necessary, I can play the 1, the 2, the 3. ”
Hampton said he had already contacted Murray, Morris and Dozier and started trading texts with Nuggets trainer Michael Malone since Monday. The training camp is a week away.
From there, Hampton has to work his way through without a clear depth map and prove that he can deal defensively with guards at the NBA level. If not, Malone is unlikely to trust the 19-year-old from the start. However, its versatility will work in its favor. According to Miller, his time in the National Basketball League taught him to humble himself and accept any role Malone could find for him.
« My greatest ability is being able to do anything, » said Hampton. “I can ricochet, I can pass, shoot, get to the basket. I feel like one of the fastest people in the NBA. ”
Final two-way solution: The Nuggets made it official. Greg Whittington will be Denver’s last two-way deal, the Denver Post reported on Sunday. He joins security guard Markus Howard as the team’s other two-way man. The 6-foot-8 forward played in Turkey last season.
Denver Nuggets, Bol Bol, NBA
World News – CA – Nuggets Rookie R. . J. . Hampton does MPJ, Bol Bol compares comparisons: « I’ll be the same » for me
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