DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Nuggets selected power forward Zeke Nnaji, with the No. 22 pick and reportedly traded for R.J. Hampton at No. 24 in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday night. So how do the newest players fit on the current roster?
Zeke Nnaji, Power Forward, University of Arizona
Nnaji is a 6-foot-11, 240-pound power forward who averaged 16.1 points and 8.6 rebounds in his only season for the Arizona Wildcats. He was named as the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year racking up 14 double-doubles, which were the second-most by a Wildcat freshman in program history.
The Nuggets have several questions with their front court depth as Mason Plumlee, Jerami Grant, and Paul Millsap are all free agents. Depending on what the Nuggets decide to do in the free agent market will dictate how much playing time Nnaji will have in the upcoming season.
Nnaji is a good rebounder and has the ability to finish strong at the rim. One area of improvement at the NBA level will be his defense as a rim protector. But, if the Nuggets need a pianist, they have the right guy in Nnaji who dazzled Arizona fans with this rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner at center court.
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) July 4, 2020
Fit on the Nuggets Depth Chart: Backup Power Forward
R.J. Hampton, Guard, New Zealand Breakers
According to ESPN, the Nuggets traded a 2023 lottery-protected first-round pick to the New Orleans Pelicans for guard R.J. Hampton, who played last season with the New Zealand Breakers.
Playing overseas in the National Basketball League, Hampton averaged 8.8 points and 2.4 assists in 15 games. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor believes Hampton’s game is comparable to Nuggets guard Will Barton.
RJ Hampton (@RjHampton14) can FLY ✈️
— NBA (@NBA) November 17, 2020
Standing at 6-foot-5, Hampton, like Barton, has a quick first step and is an explosive playmaker at the rim. He has the ability to be a plus defender due to his athleticism. He will need to improve his shooting touch and has been working out with former Nuggets sharpshooter Mike Miller, according to the Denver Post.
Don’t expect to see much of him on the court this year with Barton, Jamal Murray, Gary Harris and Monte Morris ahead of him on the depth chart.
Fit on the Nuggets Depth Chart: Backup Guard