According to several reports, the Pistons are planning to sign guard RJ Hampton, the No. 24 pick in the 2020 NBA draft, who was waived Tuesday by the Orlando Magic. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was first to report the Pistons’ intention to sign Hampton.
For what it’s worth, Hampton seemed to confirm the report, with an homage to Detroit, from the “8 Mile” movie on Twitter.
Hampton, a 6-foot-4 combo guard, is just 22 years old, and averaged 5.7 points and 1.5 rebounds in 26 games with the Magic this season. Orlando had a crowded backcourt of young guards, and he will have an opportunity in the Pistons’ remaining 24 games to make an impression.
Hampton is in the final year of his rookie contract, with a salary of $2.4 million this season, and he could be another value contract for Pistons general manager Troy Weaver, who is gaining a reputation for finding players who have something to prove.
In his rookie season, Hampton played 25 games with the Denver Nuggets, before being traded to the Magic. In 26 games with Orlando, he posted 11.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists, averaging a career-high 25.2 minutes per game.
With the Pistons, Hampton joins a backcourt that includes first-round picks Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Killian Hayes — who was selected No. 7 overall in the 2020 draft — along with Hamidou Diallo, Alec Burks, Cory Joseph and Rodney McGruder.
The Pistons return from the All-Star break on Thursday at Orlando, though Hampton is not likely to clear waivers in time to be available to play in that game.