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Heat sign guard R.J. Hampton to a two-way contract


The Miami Heat have signed free agent guard R.J. Hampton to a two-way contract, according to reports. Hampton, 22, was selected 24th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Following the draft, the Bucks traded the former National Basketball League (NBL) star to the Denver Nuggets. In 25 games off the bench with Denver in his rookie 2020-21 season, he averaged 2.6 points and 2.0 rebounds.

The Nuggets traded Hampton to the Magic in March 2021. In 26 appearances with Orlando, the guard logged 11.2 points, 5.0 boards, and 2.8 assists per game. He also shot 43.9% from the floor and 31.9% from 3-point range.

Per a few NBA betting sites, the Miami Heat hold seventh-shortest odds to win next season’s 2024 championship. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics in the East.

Hampton was then named the NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for May. It was the first time a Magic player won the award since Elfrid Payton in 2015.

In the 2021-22 season, Hampton made 14 starts in 64 games. The Texas native averaged 7.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists while shooting 38.3% from the floor and 35% beyond the arc.

Miami Heat sign guard R.J. Hampton to a two-way contract; Hampton joins two-way players Dru Smith and Jamal Cain

On April 10, 2022, in the Magic’s 125-111 win over the Miami Heat, the guard recorded a then-career-high 21 points in 33 minutes of action. He finished 8-of-16 (50%) shooting from the floor and 4-of-7 (57.1%) from downtown.

Additionally, Hampton averaged 5.7 points, 1.5 boards, 1.3 assists, and 13.9 minutes per game in 26 games with the Magic in the 2022-23 season. However, Orlando waived him on Feb. 21, 2023.

Days later, the guard inked a deal with the Detroit Pistons. Of course, Hampton made three starts in 21 appearances with the Pistons last season, averaging 7.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.0 assist, and 18.5 minutes per contest.

In Detroit’s 123-108 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on April 5, the guard scored a career-high 27 points in 35 minutes off the bench. Along with posting five rebounds, two assists, and one block, he shot 9-of-15 (60%) from the field and drained five 3-pointers.

Now, Hampton will spend time with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Miami Heat’s G League affiliate. The undrafted player joins guard Dru Smith and forward Jamal Cain as Miami’s two-way signees. A two-way contract can be converted into a standard deal.

Before adding Hampton, the Heat waived Jamaree Bouyea, Caleb Daniels, and Jon Elmore.

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