R.J. Hampton reacts to joining Magic following trade deadline

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Cody Taylor
·2 min read
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Newly-acquired rookie R.J. Hampton on Friday expressed happiness to join the Orlando Magic for a new opportunity and fresh start with an organization building toward the future.

Hampton on Thursday was traded to the Magic, along with Gary Harris and a first-round pick, from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Aaron Gordon ahead of the trade deadline. The acquisition of Hampton was a priority for the Magic to complete the deal given his potential.

The Magic were very high on Hampton during the pre-draft process and were impressed with him on and off the court after meeting with him. The team ultimately selected Cole Anthony with the 15th overall pick but now have two first-round picks from the 2019 draft.

Hampton is excited to join the Magic and get to work with his new team.

“I think my reaction to being on a new team is a fresh start,” Hampton said. “I come into the Magic organization into a rebuilding process — a lot of young guys, a lot of young talent. I think I am one of those guys that can contribute to the Magic not only this year but for years to come.”

The move to the Magic will create an opportunity to log heavy minutes for Hampton. He played sparingly this season on a crowded Nuggets roster, averaging just 9.3 minutes in 25 games, but will now find himself as a key player on a rebuilding Magic team.

In addition to Gordon, the Magic also traded Nikola Vucevic to the Chicago Bulls and Evan Fournier to the Boston Celtics. The team saw an opportunity to cash in on their players and ultimately opted to begin a new rebuild around Jonathan Isaac, Markelle Fultz, Anthony, Hampton and others.

Hampton arrived in Orlando on Thursday and underwent a physical with the team on Friday. While he didn’t play in a 112-105 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, Hampton likes what he sees from his new teammates.

“I think the guys all look so focused,” Hampton said. “They look eager to win more games, eager to finish off the season the right way. How I see myself fitting in is to have fun, play the right way and share the ball. We’re a really young, athletic team and I think that’s something I bring.”

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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