Houston Rockets: David Nwaba to the Denver Nuggets Trade #2
This trade doesn’t see the Nuggets give up any draft capital but it sends the Rockets an interesting young player that could instantly come in and fill the back-up point guard role. R.J. Hampton is a bit of an unknown but that has more to do with the bias against prospects that play their gap-year overseas and not to do with his actual ability.
For whatever reason, NBA front offices seem to have a stigma against prospects that go and play professionally overseas instead of playing against amateurs in the NCAA. Remember, Luka Doncic was the third overall pick after destroying professional competition for years, LaMelo Ball falling to third already looks insane, and Hampton very well may make his selection at 24th overall appear to be a massive mistake.
Hampton hasn’t played much for the Nuggets this season and his long-term role with the franchise appears to be murky. The Nuggets have their point guard of the future in Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray is firmly entrenched as their secondary playmaker.
Hampton is a point guard who has insane burst which makes playing at pace a must for him to reach his potential. With Jokic pulling the strings the Nuggets play at one of the league’s slowest pace and it makes Hampton’s ability to fit with the starting lineup tricky.
The Nuggets should cash in a prospect for a player that can help their team right now. Even if Hampton becomes an elite player in Houston it’s unlikely he’d be able to do the same playing in Denver.
This deal gets the Rockets an intriguing prospect who can learn under John Wall, another athletically gifted point guard, as he eases into an NBA role. The Nuggets get a player that can help them make the finals and in the end, everyone is happy.
Next: Trade #1