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Pelicans Waive Justin Hamilton

5:08pm: New Orleans has waived Hamilton, the team announced in a press release.

3:06pm: The Pelicans are expected to waive Justin Hamilton, league sources tell John Reid of The Times-Picayune (Twitter link). Reid reported minutes earlier that the Pels are expected to sign Elliot Williams to a 10-day contract, but New Orleans doesn’t have to make a corresponding move, since it has an open roster spot. In any case, it appears the team is parting with the big man it acquired from the Heat in a three-team deadline-day trade with Phoenix. Hamilton would be ineligible to appear in the playoffs for another team if he indeed hits waivers, and the Pelicans would be on the hook for his entire minimum salary of more than $816K unless another team puts in a waiver claim.

The 24-year-old had yet to appear in a game for the Pelicans since the trade after averaging 12.0 minutes per contest in 24 appearances, five of them starts, for the banged-up Heat. Still, he had a marginal impact for Miami, averaging just 2.8 points and 2.0 rebounds. The contract that he signed with Miami toward the end of last season had a series of dates that triggered partially guaranteed salary, and he remained on the roster past them all, as well as the leaguewide guarantee date in January that locked in his full salary.

The Heat first acquired Hamilton on draft night in 2012 and twice signed him to deals, but Miami can’t re-sign him until July because the league prohibits teams from re-signing players they trade for one year, or until the end of the traded contract, whichever is sooner. Hamilton was also with Charlotte last season on a 10-day contract.

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One thought on “Pelicans Waive Justin Hamilton

  1. Z....

    New Orleans obviously doesnt know what it has. I hope he stays available by July for the Heat to bring him back. After Bosh went down after the trade, he was someone we could have used to help in that role. Great basketball IQ. Stretches the floor from the 4/5 spot. Good team defender, and always seems to be in the right spots defensively. He is also a good passer, and you can run a little offense through him in the high post.

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