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Knicks Rumors: RJ Hampton Draws Interest from NY; Considered 'Under the Radar'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 6, 2020

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Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

The New York Knicks are already thinking about the 2020 NBA draft, particularly the possibility of pairing RJ Hampton in the backcourt with RJ Barrett.  

Per Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks are considering drafting Hampton if their top pick falls between six and 10. 

Berman noted some people inside the NBA view Hampton as an "under-the-radar" talent in the top 10 because his season in Australia was interrupted due to a hip injury that cost him four weeks in December. 

Hampton (6'5", 185 lbs) was a 5-star prospect and the No. 5 overall player in the 2019 class, per 247Sports' composite rankings. 

Rather than go to college, he turned pro by signing with the New Zealand Breakers of the NBL. There, the 19-year-old averaged 8.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 40 percent from the field in 15 games. 

Hampton's final game in Australia took place Jan. 11, and he returned to the United States in February to give himself time to recover from his hip injury and prepare for the 2020 NBA draft.

B/R's Jonathan Wasserman has Hampton ranked as the No. 12 prospect in this year's draft, citing his "transition scoring and slashing, capable shot-making and secondary playmaking" as strengths. And the Knicks offense ranks 28th in efficiency and 29th in points per game (105.8), so adding a playmaker would fill a massive need.

Based on the current standings, New York has the sixth-worst record in the league (21-45) and has a 9 percent chance to win the draft lottery. 

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