Report: Miami Heat want developmental prospect after cutting R.J. Hampton

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The Miami Heat reportedly will part ways with guard R.J. Hampton and use the open spot on another developmental prospect.

Hampton has not played for the Heat since Jan. 5. He is averaging 1.3 points and 1.0 assist per game in his eight appearances this season, which was his first with Miami and fourth in the NBA. A first-round pick (No. 24 overall) in the 2020 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, he also has played for the Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons.

He played 64 NBA games in the 2021-22 season with the Magic, averaging 7.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. The 23-year-old signed a two-way contract with the Heat this past offseason.

Earlier this season, he injured his knee while practicing for the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Heat’s G League affiliate. Coincidentally, Miami recently added another No. 24 overall draft pick – Josh Christopher (2021) – to the Skyforce.

The Heat did not make a deal on NBA trade deadline day on Thursday. Late last month, they did acquire Terry Rozier from the Charlotte Hornets in a trade for Kyle Lowry and a first-round pick in the 2027 NBA Draft. Rozier is averaging just 12.6 points per game in his nine appearances for the Heat after averaging 23.2 points per game for the Hornets prior to the trade.

The Heat reportedly may be interested in adding Jamaree Bouyea, who had a strong Summer League performance for them this past offseason.

Miami also may have another personnel matter on its hands after Haywood Highsmith reportedly was cited for “careless and negligent” driving after a car accident earlier this week left a man with a partial amputation of his leg. Highsmith was not injured in the accident but did not play in Miami’s game Wednesday because of personal reasons. The citation is not considered criminal.

After defeating the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, the Heat have won four of their past five games following a seven-game losing streak. They are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference entering play Friday and will take a 28-24 record into their game against the conference-leading Boston Celtics on Sunday.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.