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Hamilton Brothers Looking to Make their Mark in the NBA

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The NBA Draft is next week,and it can be a special moment for players. If their name is called, it’s the culmination of all the hard work and dedication they’ve put into their craft. There are a limited number of roster spots in the NBA, and to be among those select few drafted is a truly a testament to a player’s talent and skill.

Such was the case for Daniel Hamilton last year. After declaring for the draft after his sophomore year at the University of Connecticut, he was selected with the 56th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets and then traded immediately to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“It’s one of the best feelings in the world, you work your whole life to hear the commissioner say your name,” Daniel Hamilton told Basketball Insiders. “When I heard it, that was just a blessing. I was pretty excited to share that moment with my family.”

And his family are no strangers to the whole draft process. The youngest of four brothers, Daniel’s brother Jordan, was drafted in 2011 by the Denver Nuggets. Jordan has bounced around the NBA playing for the Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, and New Orleans Pelicans before heading to Turkey this past season.

His brother Issac just finished up his senior year at UCLA and is participating in workouts with teams in hopes of being drafted next week. Having gone through that process already, Daniel was able to give some words of advice to his brother.

“The best advice I gave him was to stay in shape,” Daniel told Basketball Insiders. “You have a whole lot of workouts, so if you stay in shape you can be able to manage all the different workouts you got.”

Going through draft workouts can be a grueling process, but for Isaac, he’s enjoyed it quite a bit. In between workouts, he’s used the Drew League in Los Angeles on the weekends to keep himself in prime condition.

“It’s fun, the Drew League just kind of gave me a little outlet to get cardio and keep in game rhythm so that’s why I come and play every weekend,” Isaac told Basketball Insiders. “Next week it will be all over and I’ll just see whatever my next steps are.”

Most of the mock drafts don’t have Isaac getting drafted, but he is confident that he can bring a lot to an NBA team. He was one of the top scorers on a UCLA team that was the second highest scoring team in the nation. He averaged 14.1 points per game on 45.3 percent shooting.

In order to catch the attention of NBA teams, however, he is expanding his game to become a better well-rounded player.

“I’m trying to change my game to be more of a defensive player,” Isaac told Basketball Insiders. “As a rookie, that’s how you’ll get time on the floor, just playing defense and making shots.”

Issac has worked out for a few teams already, but he considered the workouts he did with the Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, and New York Knicks to be among the best he’s had so far.

“I’m just seeing how goes and who’s next up, I’m excited,” Issac told Basketball Insiders.

While Isaac has loved each moment of the workout process, Daniel does remember it being exhausting, not just because of the sheer number of them but also due to the uncertainty that comes with it.

“You don’t know what teams are interested in you,” Daniel told Basketball Insiders. “You work out for all these different teams and you’re working out pretty much every day. It was tough, but it was worth it though.”

Although he was drafted by the Thunder, Daniel has yet to suit up for the team. He spent last season playing for their D-League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue.

He was one of the Blue’s best all-around players, averaging 14.9 points per game on 42.7 percent shooting from the field, pulling down eight rebounds and dishing out 4.7 assists. Although he has yet to hear what the Thunder’s plans are for him in the immediate future, he hopes that his opportunity is coming soon.

“We’re still negotiating, we still got summer league ahead of us,” Daniel told Basketball Insiders. “We’re just gonna see how it goes and that’s the big picture, to play with the Thunder.”

Make sure to follow Basketball Insiders on Twitter at @BBallInsiders.

About David Yapkowitz

David Yapkowitz