The 2020 NBA Draft is just over a week away and a pair of names have continued to emerge in connection with the Trail Blazers. Regarding Portland, both RJ Hampton and Jay Scrubb were mentioned in the latest mock draft from The Athletic’s John Hollinger.
Hollinger explained that Hampton’s raw potential makes him an intriguing option for Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.
I’ve heard some wild stuff here — I mean like, wild stuff — but I’m not sure how much of it to believe. So I’ll go with the known on Neil Olshey’s track record: if he’s not getting a high-skill guy in the lottery, he prefers to work with raw clay. Toolsy, teenage, high-school All-Americans, preferably, with shooting optional. Nassir Little a year ago, Anfernee Simons before that, Eric Bledsoe with the Clippers … he has a type.
Of the available players, I would say Hampton is the one who best fits the mold. Hampton isn’t ready, but the Blazers believe strongly in their player development program and don’t mind waiting on results. Of the players remaining on the board, he arguably has the greatest upside.
Hampton, who averaged 8.8 points per game with the New Zealand Breakers (NBL) last season, certainly fits the mold of a boom-or-bust selection. Last month, Hampton’s ceiling was discussed in our own comprehensive draft profile:
Supreme athletes with size and shot-creating prowess don’t fall from the sky frequently. If he lands in the right situation, Hampton’s flaws are identifiable and correctable. It is tough to buy too much stock in his fully transformed shot form, but it is promising that he is investing in a significant overhaul of those issues. Hampton is a project and his upside is undeniable. In five years, I would not be shocked to see Hampton emerge as the best player from the 2020 class. That said, I would not be surprised if he is bouncing between the G League and the NBA on that same timeline.
Outside of Hampton, Hollinger’s mock draft also touched on JUCO star Jay Scrubb.
Back to crazy town for a minute: One name I’ve heard here is prep-to-pro Jay Scrubb, who is on the same path Simmons took. But surely the Blazers would be targeting him at 46, not at 16 …. right?
In 29 outings with John A. Logan College last season, Scrubb averaged 21.9 points per game on 50.1 percent shooting from the field. Blazer’s Edge will have a full profile on Scrubb later this week.
You can check out Hollinger’s full mock draft at The Athletic (subscription required).