Over UConn's storied basketball history, 40 former players have been selected by NBA teams in the draft, with the most recent being Shabazz Napier, who was selected 24th overall by the Miami Heat in 2014. Daniel Hamilton, who took a lot of heat for leaving early, is the next. Hamilton went 56th overall to the Denver Nuggets.
Despite being drafted by the Nuggets, it does look like he'll be heading to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of a trade.
Thunder buy into the draft, 56th overall, and select Daniel Hamilton out of UConn. Likely to play on the OKC Blue next season.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) June 24, 2016
Daniel Hamilton goes #56 to Oklahoma City, via Denver. Very versatile wing from UConn. DX profile: https://t.co/17GfE00pbK— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 24, 2016
Hamilton's unique skill set should give him a decent chance to make the team out of training camp. He is 6 foot-7 and can handle the ball as well as rebound. He finished first in the AAC with a 27% rebound rate and second in assist rate (29.2%). The only other two players to have both numbers be above 25% since 2009-10 are Ben Simmons and Kyle Anderson. Both were first round picks. Simmons went 1st overall tonight, while Anderson went 30th overall in 2014.
Hamilton has the passing and the rebound ability, but if he can develop a steady jump shot, he can become a steady NBA player. He doesn't have the shooting consistency yet, shooting 38.7% from the field and 33.1% from three-point range as a sophomore. Some games he was lighting it up, such as the Jimmy V Classic against Maryland when he and Jalen Adams led a second-half comeback attempt. But he also all but disappeared in others, like in the January 5 game against Temple at XL Center where in 34 minutes he went 2-of-13 from the field. The potential is there, but the consistency needs work.
The L.A. native averaged 11.7 points per game, 8.3 rebounds per game and 4.2 assists per game over his 71-game UConn career. He was one of two Division 1 players to score 450 points, grab 300 rebounds and get 150 assists as a sophomore in 2015-2016. He also registered the 11th triple-double in UConn history on December 23, 2015, scoring 11 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, to go along with 11 assists.
Best of luck to Daniel Hamilton as he starts his professional career!