The Washington Wizards are evaluating point guards for their first-round pick, as we learned Wednesday that prospect R.J. Hampton has worked out with them in the predraft process.
Hampton revealed that news while meeting with the media ahead of next week's 2020 NBA Draft. The Wizards hold the ninth overall pick and Hampton has been projected by many to go in the lottery.
Just 19 years old, Hampton is an explosive athlete who has been compared to high-flying guards like Russell Westbrook and Zach LaVine. He skipped the college ranks to play professionally in New Zealand last season and had his year cut short due to a hip injury he insists he is fully healed from.
The Wizards sent executives to that part of the world last season to see Hampton and also LaMelo Ball, as NBC Sports Washington has reported. The fact they attended Hampton's pre-draft workout is interesting considering the league is only allowing teams to see a limited number of players.
Hampton also plays the same position as John Wall, the Wizards' most accomplished and highest-paid player. If Washington drafted Hampton, he could serve as Wall's back-up and also his potential replacement long-term. Wall is now 30 years old, so Hampton is 11 years younger.
In the meantime, Hampton may also be able to play alongside Wall as a two-guard and maybe even with Bradley Beal as well in three-guard lineups. More generally, he would add athleticism to the Wizards, and that's something they are looking for this offseason.
In addition to the Wizards, Hampton has also worked out for the Celtics, Nuggets, Cavs, Pistons, Nets and Magic.