Southwest Notes: Roberts, Hamilton, Machado

Here’s a look at the latest out of the Southwest Division..

    • Brian Roberts achieved a key milestone Sunday, starting his 41st game for the Pelicans this season. That means he’s met the NBA’s starter criteria for restricted free agents, and the value of his qualifying offer surged from $1,115,243 to $3,450,156, as we detailed. It’ll be interesting to see if that prompts New Orleans to decline to make that qualifying offer for a player who’d likely return to a backup role behind a healthy Jrue Holiday next season. Without the qualifying offer, Roberts would become an unrestricted free agent.
    • The Nuggets did not pick up the fourth-year option on Jordan Hamilton’s contract before the season, assuring he will be a free agent this summer, but he’s making the most of his situation now with the Rockets. “It’s a contract year, so I’m definitely auditioning for whoever,” Hamilton said, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “I just have to come out every day and just play my ‘A’ game every chance I get when I’m out there. This is a great team, a great group of young guys. I’m young (24), as well. I think I would fit right in next year. I need to stay in shape and do all the little things they want me to do. This is a good situation.”  Hamilton, who came to Houston in exchange for Aaron Brooks, went on to say complimentary things about coach Kevin McHale and the rest of the staff for helping him grow as a player.
    • Former Rockets guard Scott Machado has signed in France with ASVEL Basket, according to a tweet from Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The team has also confirmed the signing via press release (French link).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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