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Magic guard R.J. Hampton to hit free agency next summer

James Foglio profile picture
Sports Editor
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Magic guard R.J. Hampton to hit free agency next summer
USA Today Network

Orlando Magic guard R.J. Hampton is set to become a free agent next summer. The Magic exercised their third-year options on Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs, along with the fourth-year options of Cole Anthony and Chuma Okeke.

However, Hampton’s $4,220,057 club option for the 2023-24 season will not be picked up. This is part of the four-year, $11.13 million rookie scale contract the guard signed with the Denver Nuggets in 2020.

Some NBA betting sites are giving Orlando the fifth-lowest odds to win the championship in 2023. While the Magic are now 1-5, a couple of sportsbooks are dropping their odds of qualifying for the postseason.

The NBA deadline for contracts containing the 2023-24 team option is this Monday, Oct. 31. For those wondering, the front office can re-sign Hampton next summer. If not, he will become an unrestricted free agent.

Last October, the Magic exercised the guard’s $2.41 million option for this season.

Hampton was selected 24th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2020 NBA Draft. Four days later, the Bucks traded the former National Basketball League (NBL) star to the Nuggets.

Magic don’t exercise R.J. Hampton’s 2023-24 option, allowing him to become a free agent next summer

During his rookie season, in 25 games off the bench with Denver, he averaged 2.6 points and 2 rebounds. Plus, he shot 41.7% from the field and 27.8% from beyond the arc.

In March 2021, the Nuggets traded Hampton to the Magic. Through 26 appearances, the guard logged 11.2 points, 5 boards, and 2.8 assists per game. He also shot 43.9% from the floor and 31.9% from 3-point range.

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

Last season, in 64 appearances, R.J. Hampton averaged 7.6 points, 3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. So far, the 21-year-old is not meeting expectations.

On April 10, 2022, in the Magic’s 125-111 win over the Miami Heat, the guard scored a 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.

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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