Orlando Magic Summer League: 3 up, 3 down from Magic’s Vegas run

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R.J. Hampton, Orlando Magic
R.J. Hampton struggled in his first two Summer League games as he was unable to take the next step forward. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /

Orlando Magic Summer League: 3 up, 3 down

1 Down: R.J. Hampton

R.J. Hampton should not be dead and buried after his Summer League run.

This is Summer League and is supposed to be a place where players can experiment and make mistakes. This is not the regular season and Hampton knows how to play when the NBA season starts.

Still, this was not a good sign for Hampton despite all of that. There was some good from Hampton, but the bad far outweighed it.

Generally, Hampton’s two-game run left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. That impression outweighed everything else. And it was hard to argue against it.

Hampton’s counting stats do not look so bad — and preview some of the things he did well. He averaged 12.0 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game, 2.0 assists per game and 3.0 turnovers per game.

Again, there are some good things hidden in those numbers but there is a lot of bad. And it certainly did not feel like an experienced player playing at Summer League.

That was perhaps the biggest thing.

It is rare for a third-year player to make a Summer League appearance. And Hampton was right to surmise that he would get a lot more playing in an organized setting than he would in unorganized pick-up runs.

Hampton needed to play within a structure and show he could succeed in a team setting. The Magic needed to see control from him, especially if he was going to be on the ball.

That is where Hampton struggled most. Running the point for the Magic, Hampton still seemed to be out of control and unable to bring the stability the Magic needed. His attacks were a bit wild and his three-point shot was inconsistent.

There were still good moments. Hampton was better in the half-court and played with some good composure and poise driving the lane. But he still seemed to be moving way too fast.

And this was Summer League. He should have been the most composed player on the court for the Magic because of that experience. Instead, he was the one making critical mistakes. Certainly not mistakes you would expect a Summer League veteran like Hampton to make.