Former UConn star Daniel Hamilton was chosen by the Denver Nuggets with the 56th pick of the 2016 NBA Draft.
— UConn Men's Hoops (@UConnMBB) June 24, 2016
Before the selection was announced, Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical reported that the Nuggets were selling their pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder. That reported deal has not been announced by the league, but it is expected to be confirmed shortly.
Denver is selling the 56th pick to OKC, source tells @TheVertical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 24, 2016
The 6-foot 7-inch forward declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft shortly after UConn’s season ending defeat against Kansas in the NCAA Tournament.
Hamilton averaged 12.5 points per game, 8.9 rebounds per game and 4.7 assists per game in his sophomore season. He was also one of just two Division One players to finish the season with 450 points, 300 rebounds, and 150 assists. The other was LSU’s Ben Simmons, the No. 1 pick of the NBA Draft.
It came as a surprise to some that Hamilton remained in the draft. Rodney Purvis and Amida Brimah both declared for the draft following the end of the season, but opted to return to UConn for their final year of eligibility.
Purvis offered his congratulations to his former teammate.
Really excited for DHam, he definitely a sleeper. He gone make it happen !!#uconnlove
— Rodney Purvis (@rpurvis44) June 24, 2016
Hamilton is the 41st UConn player to be drafted since 1965. He’s the first since 2014 when Shabazz Napier and DeAndre Daniels were selected.
The Thunder have had a strong relationship with UConn basketball. Current head coach Kevin Ollie played 25 games for the team in the 2009-10 season. Jeremy Lamb spent the first three seasons of his career in O.K.C. Hasheem Thabeet and Caron Butler both also spent time with the franchise.