Justin Hamilton Signs In Croatia

August 15 2012 at 9:20am CST By Luke Adams

A few weeks after being selected 45th overall and acquired by the Heat on draft night, Justin Hamilton has decided to head overseas for the upcoming season. The former LSU big man has signed with Croatian club Cibona Zagreb, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando.

Hamilton, who averaged 12.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in his junior year at LSU, entered the draft a year early, despite being ranked just the 65th-best prospect of the class by DraftExpress and 76th by ESPN.com's Chad Ford. The 22-year-old was part of the draft-night trade that allowed the Sixers to acquire the Heat's first-round pick and select Arnett Moultrie. In exchange, Miami received the 45th overall pick, used to draft Hamilton, and the Sixers' lottery-protected 2013 first-rounder.

The Heat will hold Hamilton's rights if and when he returns to the NBA, but it appears the team didn't have a ton of interest in signing the 6'11" center, despite a lack of quality bigs. Heat president Pat Riley said earlier this month that he didn't feel like the club needed to add another center, so unless the Heat have another target in mind, it appears they're sticking to that stance.

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