Magic’s Steve Clifford explains what he likes about R.J. Hampton

R.J. Hampton has only logged 22 appearances with the Orlando Magic since joining the team at the trade deadline so head coach Steve Clifford and the rest of the team are still learning about what the 24th overall pick can bring to the court.

But, Clifford loves how Hampton is fully committed to developing his game.

Joining the Magic would ensure Hampton had the opportunity to log consistent playing time. With the Denver Nuggets, Hampton played sparingly behind so many established players on a roster designed to compete for a championship.

In Orlando, Hampton has been given the green light to make mistakes on the court and develop his game. With that green light and playing through those mistakes comes a learning curve, something Hampton is ready to learn from and improve.

“The one thing I like about him as I get to know him is he is coachable,” Clifford said. “He understands that there has to be a defensive component to what he is doing if he wants to get to the point where he can play every night. If you don’t have a certain aspect at both ends of the floor to your game now, it is hard to play every night on good teams.”

Hampton is currently on his best run of the season after scoring in double figures in five straight games. During that span, Hampton is averaging 15.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game, while he also produced his first career double-double on Wednesday versus the Boston Celtics.

Clifford often cautions those listening to monitor the stats a player or team puts up during the final month of the season. For a variety of reasons, those numbers can often be empty, but he believes Hampton is learning and developing the right way.

“I think for all of these guys, one thing that has to happen, and this is what I like about him, is that he asks questions and understands that it is what you do at both ends of the floor,” Clifford said. “He has a good attitude and he learns things quickly and that is one of the more important things that I have learned in the short time that he has been here with us.”

Story continues

When discussing trade offers for Aaron Gordon with the Nuggets, the Magic demanded that Hampton was included in the package. The Nuggets were hesitant to part ways with him because of his potential on the court but knew they had to in order to add a piece in Gordon that can help them win.

In a small sample size, Hampton has given the organization plenty of hope for the future and he projects to play a key role with the team moving forward.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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Published: 2021-05-08 18:50:43

Tags: #Magics #Steve #Clifford #explains #likes #Hampton

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