Bryce Hamilton

Lakers Waive Bryce Hamilton

The Lakers have waived guard Bryce Hamilton, the team announced (via Twitter). The move opens up a spot on Los Angeles’ 21-man offseason roster, which had been full.

Hamilton, who will turn 23 in November, spent his rookie season in 2022/23 with the South Bay Lakers – L.A.’s G League affiliate – after going undrafted out of UNLV. He averaged 14.1 points and 4.6 rebounds in 28.2 minutes per game across 29 regular season appearances (27 starts) for South Bay, posting a shooting line of .514/.385/.679.

After playing for L.A.’s Summer League team in July, Hamilton was one of four players who signed Exhibit 10 contracts with the Lakers earlier this month, but it appears the club didn’t plan to have him come to training camp.

His signing was about ensuring that he’ll receive an Exhibit 10 bonus of $75K if and when he reports back to the Lakers’ NBAGL affiliate, which holds his returning rights. He’ll have to spend at least 60 days with South Bay to earn that bonus.

With 14 players on guaranteed contracts and three on two-way deals, the Lakers are unlikely to make any more major roster additions before training camp starts — Hamilton’s spot seems likely to be filled with another Exhibit 10 signing.

Lakers Sign Four Players To Exhibit 10 Contracts

The Lakers have officially signed guards Scotty Pippen Jr., Bryce Hamilton, and Damion Baugh, along with forward Vincent Valerio-Bodon, the team announced in a press release.

All four players received Exhibit 10 contracts, according to the Lakers. Exhibit 10 contracts are non-guaranteed minimum-salary deals that can be converted to two-way contracts before the regular season begins or can make a player eligible for a bonus worth up to $75K if he’s waived and then spends 60 or more days with the team’s G League affiliate.

Pippen, the son of Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, spent his rookie year in 2022/23 on a two-way deal with the Lakers after going undrafted out of Vanderbilt. He logged just 32 total minutes in six games at the NBA level, but played regularly for the South Bay Lakers, averaging 21.4 points, 5.6 assists, and 4.1 rebounds in 27.8 minutes per game across 19 NBAGL regular season appearances.

Hamilton also played for South Bay as an undrafted rookie last season, putting up 14.1 PPG and 4.6 RPG on .514/.385/.679 shooting in 29 contests (28.2 MPG).

Baugh opted to forgo his final year of college eligibility this spring to go pro after spending the last two seasons at TCU and the two before that at Memphis. He made the All-Big 12 second team earlier this year after averaging 12.6 PPG, 5.8 APG, and 4.7 RPG in 29 games (35.0 MPG) for the Horned Frogs.

Valerio-Bodon, a 6’10” forward who is 22 years old, has been playing professionally in his home country of Hungary. He averaged 8.2 PPG and 4.1 RPG with a .503/.412/.879 shooting line in 30 games (all starts) last season for Sopron KC in the Hungarian NBIA.

The Lakers now have a full 21-man offseason roster. They’re carrying 14 players on guaranteed contracts and will likely open the season with an open spot on their 15-man roster to maximize their flexibility. Their three two-way slots are also full, so unless one of the four new additions makes a very strong impression in the preseason, Pippen, Hamilton, Baugh, and Valerio-Bodon are good bets to be waived and to report to South Bay this fall.

Nate Pierre-Louis Signs Exhibit 10 Deal With Lakers

Guard Nate Pierre-Louis has signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Lakers, Adam Zagoria of tweets.

Pierre-Louis was a member of Los Angeles’ Summer League squad and appeared in seven games. He averaged 4.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 16.1 minutes in those contests.

He played for the Lakers’ G League team, the South Bay Lakers, last season and started 28 of 32 games. He averaged 9.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 32 appearances.

He’ll likely be waived soon, then return to the South Bay club with the possibility of earning a bonus up to $50K if he sticks with that team for at least 60 days.

Pierre-Louis played three seasons at Temple and went undrafted in 2020.

The Lakers waived Bryce Hamilton to create an opening on the 20-man roster for Pierre-Louis, according to’s transaction log. Hamilton’s next step is probably South Bay as well.

Lakers Waive LJ Figueroa, Sign Bryce Hamilton

The Lakers have waived wing LJ Figueroa and signed undrafted guard Bryce Hamilton to replace him on the 20-man training camp roster, per Marc J. Spears of Andscape (Twitter link). ESPN’s Dave McMenamin notes (via Twitter) that Hamilton will be on a training camp contract.

Hamilton, who turns 22 next month, went undrafted in June after four seasons at UNLV. He had a productive college career, having earned a spot on three consecutive All-Mountain West Conference teams. Hamilton averaged 21.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG and 2.2 APG on .430/.346/.768 shooting in 32 games (32.3 MPG) as a senior last season. He most recently played for the Heat during Summer League.

Figueroa spent his first two college seasons with St. John’s before transferring to Oregon for the 2020/21 season. The 24-year-old went undrafted in 2021 and signed a training camp deal with the Warriors, was waived, and then spent his first pro season with Golden State’s G League affiliate in Santa Cruz, averaging 16.7 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 2.4 APG and 1.0 SPG on .494/.323/.781 shooting in 32 games (23 starts, 27.6 MPG). He suited up for the Hornets in Summer League.

While the terms of the contracts for Figueroa and Hamilton were not disclosed, it seems likely that both deals included Exhibit 10 language, which would make them each eligible for a $50K bonus if they spend at least 60 days with the South Bay Lakers, Los Angeles’ NBA GL affiliate. Spears confirms (via Twitter) that Hamilton is expected to be waived before the regular season and start his pro career in the G League.

Draft Notes: Magic, Sochan, Hardy, Daniels

While such comments typically produce eye rolls, president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman insists the Magic haven’t decided who they’ll take with the top overall pick, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.

Weltman says “it’s still early in the process,” even though draft night is Thursday. “Dialogue is always ongoing,” Weltman said. “But, most importantly, we get to do what we want. That’s the real benefit of having the No. 1 pick.”

Orlando is expected to draft either Jabari Smith or Chet Holmgren.

We have more draft-related info:

  • Baylor’s Jeremy Sochan attended the Wizards’ pre-draft workout on Monday but didn’t participate due to an injury, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. Sochan sat out with a mild hamstring strain. Washington owns the No. 1o pick. Sochan is ranked No. 15 on ESPN’s Best Available list.
  • G League Ignite guard Jaden Hardy, ranked No. 22 by ESPN, worked out for the Sixers on Monday, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. St. Joseph’s forward Jordan Hall, Delaware guard Kevin Anderson, Alabama guard Keon Ellis, Baylor wing Kendall Brown and UNLV shooting guard Bryce Hamilton joined him, Pompey adds in another tweet. Philadelphia owns the No. 23 pick.
  • G League Ignite guard Dyson Daniels cancelled a visit with the Kings after receiving a green room invitation, Sean Cunningham of KTXL tweets. Daniels is ranked No. 6 by ESPN. Daniels is the second-ranked point guard behind Jaden Ivey, who revealed that he hasn’t had contact with the team holding the No. 4 pick.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Blazers, Wolves, Nuggets

Sources told Tony Jones of The Athletic that “there is a world where the Jazz keep most of their top-seven core with the hope that a new coach energizes them.” Jones explores the potential cost of a Rudy Gobert trade to Chicago with fellow Athletic writer Darnell Mayberry, but stresses that Gobert won’t be traded just for the sake of shaking up the roster, noting that the asking price for the three-time Defensive Player of the Year will be very high.

Utah is casting an extremely wide net as they seek a replacement for Quin Snyder. As our head coaching search tracker shows, Sam Cassell became the 15th candidate linked to the Jazz after it was reported that he’ll interview for the vacancy.

Here’s more from the Northwest:

  • The Trail Blazers are hosting a pre-draft workout with six prospects on Wednesday, including a couple of potential lottery picks, tweets Aaron J. Fentress of The Oregonian. Shaedon Sharpe, the No. 7 prospect on ESPN’s big board, headlines the group, followed by Jeremy Sochan (No. 15), Dalen Terry (No. 25), John Butler (No. 67), Jamaree Bouyea (No. 79) and Jordan Hall (No. 87). Portland holds the Nos. 7, 36 and 59 picks in the draft.
  • The Timberwolves are also hosting workout of draft-eligible players on Wednesday, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). The group features multiple potential second-round picks, including Hugo Besson (No. 41 on ESPN’s board), Michael Foster Jr. (No. 49), Jean Montero (No. 52) and Gabe Brown (No. 78). It also includes Nysier Brooks, who is unranked, and David Roddy (No. 30), as Wolfson previously reported. The Wolves hold the Nos. 19, 40, 48 and 50 picks, but aren’t expected to have four rookies on the roster next season.
  • Peyton Watson (No. 34) headlines a group of six prospects working out for the Nuggets on Thursday, as Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports relays (via Twitter). The other five players are Florida’s Anthony Duruji, UNLV’s Bryce Hamilton, Flagler’s Jaizec Lottie, Marquette’s Darryl Morsell and Buffalo’s Ronaldo Segu, all of whom project to go undrafted and are unranked on ESPN’s board. After reaching an agreement to trade JaMychal Green to the Thunder, Denver now controls the Nos. 21 and 30 picks in the 2022 draft.

Draft Notes: Hamilton, Mucius, Cole, McConnell, Mock

UNLV guard Bryce Hamilton and Wake Forest forward Isaiah Mucius have both declared for the 2022 NBA draft, reports Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter links). Hamilton will forgo his final year of college eligibility, but Mucius will maintain his for next year.

UConn guard R.J. Cole (via Twitter) and Rutgers guard Caleb McConnell (via Instagram) have also declared for the draft, the two players announced. McConnell plans to maintain his eligibility for next season, but Cole’s intentions are unclear, based on the wording of his statement.

All four players are seniors, but in 2021 players were granted an extra year of NCAA eligibility due to the pandemic, so four-year players have the option of staying for what essentially amounts to a second senior season.

Hamilton is a three-time All-Mountain West Conference member who averaged 21.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 2.2 APG this season. Mucius was mostly used as a spot-up shooter, averaging 36% on 5.8 attempts per game from deep in ’21/22.

Cole was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s Player of the Year in 2018/19 with Howard prior to transferring to UConn. He was an All-Big East member this season with the Huskies. McConnell was the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year in ’21/22 for the Scarlet Knights while averaging 2.2 SPG.

In other draft-related news, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz (Insider link) explore how the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds of the NCAA tournament have impacted their latest mock draft and prospect evaluations.

The first-round of the mock draft is quite similar to the one Givony released last week, but a couple of Duke players have risen: forward Paolo Banchero has jumped up to No. 2 from No. 3, swapping places with Auburn’s Jabari Smith, while center Mark Williams has gone up four spots to No. 17. Duke faces their long-time rival North Carolina in the Final Four.

Draft Notes: Maker, Hamilton, Riley, Green

Howard University freshman big man Makur Maker has declared for the draft but hasn’t hired an agent, leaving open the possibility of returning to college, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Maker, 20, played only two games for the Bison last season because of a groin injury, averaging 11.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 2.0 APG. The team played only five games before the university shut down the season due of COVID-19 issues. Maker is listed at No. 100 on ESPN’s Best Available list.

We have more draft decisions and news:

  • UNLV’s Bryce Hamilton will remain in the draft process but plans to return to school, Jeff Goodman of Stadium tweets. The Rebels guard averaged 17.9 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 3.0 APG last season as a junior.
  • UCLA’s Cody Riley will also enter the draft while retaining his college eligibility, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweets. Riley, a junior forward, had 14 points, 10 rebounds and five assists against Gonzaga in the Final Four. In 31 starts last season, he averaged 10 PPG and 5.4 RPG. “I’ve encouraged Cody to take advantage of this time and this evaluation process. I know that he wants to see where he fits at the next level and where he needs to improve,” coach Mick Cronin told the Associated Press.
  • Cade Cunningham sits atop Jonathan Wasserman’s big board but the Bleacher Report analyst has a mild surprise in the No. 2 slot, with Jalen Green ranking above Evan Mobley. Jalen Suggs is a close fourth in Wasserman’s rankings.

Draft Updates: Christopher, Liddell, Akinjo, More

Arizona State shooting guard Josh Christopher is entering the 2021 NBA draft, he announced late last night on Twitter.

The 6’5″ freshman played just 15 games for the Sun Devils, having missed 10 due to leg and back issues. When he played, he averaged 14.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 1.5 SPG on .432/.305/.800 shooting. Despite his limited résumé at the college level, Christopher looks like a good bet to be drafted, currently ranking 37th overall on ESPN’s big board.

Here are a few more updates on early entrants declaring for the 2021 draft:

  • On the heels of Ohio State’s early exit from the NCAA tournament, sophomore forward E.J. Liddell will enter the draft while leaving the door open to return to the Buckeyes, he announced on Twitter. Liddell enjoyed a breakout year in 2020/21, increasing his scoring average from 6.7 PPG as a freshman reserve to 16.2 PPG as a full-time starter.
  • Junior guard James Akinjo announced on Instagram that he’ll test the draft waters this spring. After spending his first two college seasons at Georgetown, Akinjo transferred to Arizona and averaged 15.6 PPG and 5.4 APG in 26 games (34.9 MPG) this year.
  • North Texas guard Javion Hamlet has opted to enter the draft pool, he announced on Twitter. In two college seasons, Hamlet averaged 15.1 PPG on .461/.396/.878 shooting in 59 games (31.7 MPG), earning Conference USA Player of the Year honors in 2019/20.
  • UNLV guard Bryce Hamilton is testing the draft waters, according to an announcement on Twitter. Hamilton averaged 17.9 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 3.0 APG in 24 games (32.6 MPG) as a junior this season.