2020 NBA draft prospect R.J. Hampton interviewed with Pistons general manager Troy Weaver a month ago, according to Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press.
Hampton, who spent this past season with the New Zealand Breakers of the NBL, told Sankofa he was encouraged by his conversation with the Pistons general manager. “You can tell he knows the game, you can tell he’s very detailed about the way he sees the game of basketball,” Hampton said. “That’s why he was very in-depth with his conversation. He seems like a really smart guy. Knows a lot about the game.”
As of now, the Pistons hold the seventh overall pick in the draft and will likely take the best player available. However, Sankofa notes that the Pistons could potentially move down and acquire another first-round selection.
If that’s the case, then the 6’5″ Hampton, who is projected to go in the early-to-late teens, might be on the Pistons’ radar. This season with the Breakers, Hampton averaged 8.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 2.4 APG in 15 games.
Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:
- Billy Donovan and the Thunder parting ways on Tuesday adds a new layer to the Bulls’ coaching search, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. A source confirms to the Sun-Times that Chicago is interested in the former Oklahoma City head coach. Cowley goes on to compare Donovan’s coaching resume to former Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson, who is also a candidate for the Bulls’ job. Cowley argues that Donovan has overachieved in Oklahoma City, while Atkinson had not done the same in Brooklyn. Lastly, he adds that several former and current head coaches have told the Sun-Times that Atkinson has a growing reputation of being a self-promoter.
- In his latest mailbag, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer explores if the Hornets could trade Nicolas Batum’s contract and potential draft options at No. 3 overall, among other topics. Bonnell believes that Batum, who is entering the final season of a five-year, $120MM deal, will likely stay in Charlotte. He details how the Hornets couldn’t trade Marvin Williams, who made $14MM last season — if Charlotte couldn’t move Williams’ contract, it will be hard to trade Batum, who will make $27MM next season.
- The Wizards interviewed former Michigan State standout point guard Cassius Winston, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Hughes mentions that the 22-year-old point guard is a likely option for Washington with the 37th overall pick in the second round. Last season with the Spartans, Winston averaged 18.6 PPG, 5.9 APG, and 1.2 SPG.