5 players to watch at Orlando Magic’s Summer League

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R.J. Hampton, Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic have some concern for the pathway to develop for players like R.J. Hampton as they examine this year’s draft. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

5 players to watch on the Orlando Magic Summer League

Things to work on: R.J. Hampton

It is very unusual that third-year players volunteer to play Summer League.

For roster players, Summer League is usually reserved for rookies and second-year players. For rookies, it is a chance to get some exposure to NBA practices and coaching. For second-year players, it is a chance to check in on their offseason progress and gain confidence from the experience of their first season.

Players with R.J. Hampton’s experience do not play Summer League. Mostly because they do not need it.

Hampton though volunteered to play Summer League. He has been open about wanting the extra reps. And more importantly, wanting the extra reps with the structure that playing in this kind of team environment provides.

That is something Hampton needs, so he will get something out of this experience.

Hampton had an up-and-down second year, averaging 7.6 points per game on a 45.3-percent effective field goal percentage. He struggled at times with his turnovers and his ability to keep his pace and speed. The biggest development for him was his evolution as a 3-point shooter and his emergence as a pesky defender.

But all of it was imperfect.

R.J. Hampton as the veteran of this Summer League group — alongside Admiral Schofield — will carry a big weight both off the court as a leader but on the court as someone who should know how to play at an NBA level.

That is the advantage every second-year player has. It is expected that second-year players in Summer League play like veterans and dominate play. Hampton should have some of those expectations too.

The big thing for Hampton in this setting is to play with control and poise. He should be able to fit into his role seamlessly and he should be able to play effectively.

If Hampton does that, then his time this summer will be well spent.