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Nuggets select Zeke Nnaji with No. 22 overall pick in 2020 NBA Draft, trade for RJ Hampton

Nnaji is a power forward from the University of Arizona who averaged 16.1 points per game in his lone season with the Wildcats.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2020, file photo, Arizona forward Zeke Nnaji (22) drives against Arizona State,in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Tucson, Ariz. Nnaji was selected to the Associated Press All Pac-12 team selected Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Nnaji was also seleced AP Newcomer of the Year. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

DENVER — The Denver Nuggets selected power forward Zeke Nnaji with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday night. 

Nnaji played collegiately at the University of Arizona, where in his lone season with the Wildcats he averaged 16.1 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game. 

He was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year for the 2019-2020 season and also named first-team All-Pac-12. 

After selecting Nnaji, multiple outlets reported the Nuggets made a trade, snagging prospect RJ Hampton in a deal with New Orleans after the Pelicans picked him at No. 24 overall. 

Charania later tweeted the Nuggets would send a "future" pick to New Orleans for compensation. Hampton, once thought of as a potential top-3 pick, didn't play college basketball instead choosing to play professionally in New Zealand during the 2019-2020 season. He left his team, the New Zealand Breakers, in February to focus on the NBA Draft. He averaged 8.8 points per game in 15 contests with the Breakers.  

The draft was held virtually, with Denver's top basketball executives working from Ball Arena as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the picks live on the ESPN broadcast from a studio in Bristol, Connecticut.

The NBA season will return next month, with teams slated to play a 72-game schedule. The Nuggets are coming off a Western Conference Finals appearance after defeating the Jazz and Clippers in the NBA bubble in Orlando before falling in five games to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers. 

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