NBA Draft 2020 Prospects: Analyzing R.J. Hampton, Kira Lewis Jr., Sleeper Guards

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIIMay 23, 2020

Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

When a player isn't selected during the lottery portion of the NBA draft, it doesn't mean he can't go on to have a successful career. Consider that Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard weren't selected until the No. 15 overall pick, and others, such as Jimmy Butler, didn't get drafted until later than that.

So, there are likely to be some sleeper prospects taken in the 2020 NBA draft who go on to become strong players. And years from now, people will look back and realize they were huge steals.

Here's a look at three sleeper guards from this year's draft class who could eventually go on to become breakout players in the NBA.


RJ Hampton, New Zealand Breakers

While it's possible that RJ Hampton will be a top-10 pick in this year's draft, it's more likely that he'll be selected in the Nos. 11-20 range. That won't change the fact, however, that the 6'5" shooting guard has plenty of potential and could be a sleeper prospect from this year's deep group of guards.

After playing at Little Elm High School in Texas, Hampton spent last season playing for the New Zealand Breakers of the National Basketball League. In 15 games, he averaged 8.8 points per contest and shot 40 percent from the field.

The Athletic's Sam Vecenie wrote that Hampton could be a "solid combo guard" who switches between point guard and shooting guard effectively, praising the 19-year-old's handles and pull-up game. But he noted that Hampton will need to get better in one area for that to happen.

"His jumper needs to be good for that to work in actuality, and it was terrible this season in Australia," Vecenie wrote.

Perhaps that's why teams could be sleeping on Hampton a bit during the lead-up to the draft. But if he improves that part of his game and continues to develop, he could go on to have a successful NBA career.


Kira Lewis Jr., Alabama

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Not only could Kira Lewis Jr. be one of the biggest sleeper guards selected during the middle-to-late part of the opening round, but he could also be one of the top sleeper prospects from the whole draft class. He's a talented point guard who continued to improve over his two seasons at Alabama.

This season, all of his key stats increased from his freshman campaign, with averages of 18.5 points, 5.2 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals per contest alongside a 45.9 shooting percentage from the field and an 80.2 percentage at the free-throw line.

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor has Lewis at No. 16 on his big board, noting that the 19-year-old is a "speedster point guard who pressures the rim and generates shots for himself around the perimeter." He listed Lewis' best attributes as his athleticism, hustle and off-ball defense.

Lewis is a well-rounded prospect who has the potential to be a top point guard in the NBA should he continue to keep getting better, like he did while with the Crimson Tide. And because he may not get drafted until after the lottery picks, he could immediately be playing for a contender in 2020-21.


Jahmi'us Ramsey, Texas Tech

Brad Tollefson/Associated Press

It's possible that Jahmi'us Ramsey could fall into the second round of the draft, but he could be a huge steal.

Ramsey flashed his potential during his lone season at Texas Tech, averaging 15.0 points per game and shooting 44.2 percent from the field while earning Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors. And while there are some areas of his game that need to improve (such as defense), Vecenie broke down the 6'4" shooting guard's biggest strength.

"Ramsey is strong and has terrific ability as a driver attacking closeouts," Vecenie wrote. "If the shooting does translate, I do think he's going to be really useful as a driver who makes plays happen in spot-up settings."

Another positive is Ramsey's youth. He's set to turn 19 on June 9, so he has plenty of time to develop in a backup role before becoming a more regular contributor in a few seasons.