Detroit Pistons reportedly plan to add another 2020 first-round pick, R.J. Hampton

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Pistons are taking a swing on another former five-star basketball prospect.

The Pistons intend to sign former Orlando Magic guard R.J. Hampton off of waivers, according to a report from ESPN. Hampton, the 24th pick of the 2020 NBA draft, was a top-six high school recruit in 2019 and played a single season overseas with the New Zealand Breakers.

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Hampton previously told the Free Press that he met and interviewed with the Pistons leading up to the 2020 draft. They reached an agreement with Hampton hours after he was waived by the Magic. Along with James Wiseman, the Pistons have now acquired two players that they were interested in before the 2020 draft within two weeks. Wiseman and Pistons big man Isaiah Stewart were also top six-ranked recruits in 2019.

Hampton has played just 361 minutes divided across 26 games this season, buried behind a depth chart that featured Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony, Markelle Fultz and Gary Harris. He averaged 5.7 points on 43.9% shooting. His size (6 feet 5) and athleticism made him an enticing lead guard prospect in the draft, but it hasn’t translated.

Getting looks at former five-star prospects has been a tenet of Troy Weaver’s tenure as general manager. In the last three seasons, the Pistons have traded for or signed Frank Jackson (class of 2016 five-star recruit), Josh Jackson (2016), Marvin Bagley III (2017 five-star), Trey Lyles (2014 five-star), Jahlil Okafor (2014), Dennis Smith Jr. (2016) and Kevin Knox (2017).

Hampton played high school basketball in the Dallas area, though he briefly considered joining Montverde Academy in Florida after his freshman year in 2017. He later changed his mind, and after his junior season, he reclassified, skipping his senior season. In the spring of 2019, Hampton signed with the Breakers of the NBL based in Australia, and played one season before entering the 2020 NBA draft.

Because Hampton was waived by Orlando on Tuesday, he must wait until Thursday to official sign with another team.

Catch our podcast “The Pistons Pulse” every Tuesday morning at 5 and on demand on freep.com or wherever you listen to podcasts. See all of our podcasts and daily voice briefings at freep.com/podcasts.

Contact Omari Sankofa II at osankofa@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa.

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