The Magic will decline to exercise their 2023/24 rookie scale option on guard R.J. Hampton, multiple sources tell Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (subscription required). The third-year combo guard will now be an unrestricted free agent in 2023.
Hampton, 21, was the No. 24 pick of the 2020 draft. He was technically drafted by the Bucks, but was traded to the Nuggets shortly thereafter. During his rookie season, he was sent to Orlando along with Gary Harris as part of the Aaron Gordon trade.
In 94 games (22.4 MPG) with the Magic, Hampton has averaged 8.4 PPG, 3.5 RPG and 2.5 APG on .402/.343/.649 shooting. His declined option was worth $4,220,057, which means the Magic will be prohibited from offering him a first-year salary worth more than that in free agency next summer if he finishes the season on the roster.
Price also reports that the Magic have exercised their 2023/24 options on guards Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony, as well as forwards Chuma Okeke and Franz Wagner. The team confirmed the news (via Twitter).
Suggs, the No. 4 pick of last year’s draft, will earn a guaranteed $7,252,080 in his third season, while Wagner, the No. 8 pick last year, will earn $5,508,720. Anthony (No. 15 in 2020) and Okeke (No. 16 in 2020) will make guaranteed salaries of $5,539,771 and $5,266,713 for their fourth seasons, respectively.
Wagner, Suggs, Anthony and Okeke have all been rotation players for the Magic when healthy, so it was expected that their options would be picked up. Hampton, however, is only averaging 11.0 minutes per night in four games this season despite several injuries to the backcourt (including Suggs and Anthony) after averaging 21.9 minutes last season.
The deadline for ’23/24 rookie scale team options is October 31. The full list of those decisions can be found right here.