While talk continues of which team will draft NBA prospect RJ Hampton, maybe we should be talking about why the OKC Thunder is where he is meant to be.
In two months’ time, budding basketball talent RJ Hampton will officially become an NBA player. There are many teams lined up with a good chance of landing the top guard but one team that isn’t part of that group is the OKC Thunder, who may just be the right team for him.
As a projected lottery pick, it is unlikely he’ll be selected by OKC but there are many reasons why he’ll be a great addition to the team of Clutch Kings.
There’s something about Hampton that is reminiscent of the many players that have gone through the OKC system.
The 19-year old poses amazing athleticism and length. Much Like current Thunder player Terrance Ferguson, he’s got the bounce to get up high with his shot-blocking ability. Like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander he can also skillfully finish around the rim and create masterful plays.
Hampton isn’t afraid to charge down the lane and use his impressive euro-step to get to the basket. These are all attributes that are if not top of the list but are eye-catchers for OKC when they are scouting players.
In recent history, OKC is known to draft guys who may not have a consistent shot but can contribute in other ways especially athletically. Hampton, however, has a smooth jumper and can fill that void.
Recently, the Texas native has drawn comparison to Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell as ESPN analyst Jordan Schultz described their game.
Of course with any player there are also certain parts of their game that require improvement. But Hampton is still young and will learn as he goes.
The development he experienced while with the New Zealand Breakers has helped him to become a stronger player.
Despite playing in only 15 of the Breakers 28 regular season matches due to injury, Hampton averaged 8.8 points, 2.4 assists, and 3.8 rebounds. The guard showcased glimpses of brilliant play and created some thrilling moments that got fans buzzing and off their seats. Something that Thunder fans would love to see in person.
Let’s dive into why RJ fits so well with the OKC Thunder…