Jordan Hamilton

Lakers To Work Out Gal Mekel, Jordan Hamilton

1:33pm: The Lakers remain fond of Price, as Charania notes in a full story. Price and Ellington are the only Lakers without fully guaranteed contracts, as we noted below, and Ellington is expected back Friday from the leave of absence he took to mourn the murder of his father, as Mike Trudell of notes via Twitter.

THURSDAY, 12:59pm: Mekel will work out a second time for the Lakers on Friday, and he’ll again be matched up against Buycks, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link).

WEDNESDAY, 11:35am: The Lakers are set to audition Gal Mekel this week, tweets Marc Stein of, while Jordan Hamilton is scheduled to work out for the team Thursday, reports David Pick of (Twitter link). They’re just two of several players the 2-9 Lakers are eyeing, joining Dwight Buycks, Quincy Miller and Tyrus Thomas among those trying out for the purple-and-gold. John Lucas III also reportedly had a workout scheduled with the team before taking a deal to play in China instead. Mekel will audition head-to-head against Buycks, according to Pick (Twitter link).

Visa issues scuttled a deal that Mekel was set to sign earlier this month with the injury-hit Pacers, who inked A.J. Price instead rather than wait an extra day for the problem to be resolved. There’s reportedly been widespread interest in Mekel, the 26-year-old former Mavs point guard, whom Dallas waived shortly after opening night in spite of his guaranteed contract to accommodate the signing of J.J. Barea.

Hamilton opened the season with the Jazz after they claimed him off waivers from Toronto, where he had an impressive preseason showing for the Raptors. The 26th overall pick from 2011 nonetheless lasted only about a week in Utah before the team let him go. He’s spent most of his NBA career with the Nuggets, who traded him to the Rockets at the deadline in February.

The Lakers are at the 15-man roster maximum, so they’d have to unload a player to bring someone aboard. They have partially guaranteed salary out to Ronnie Price and Wayne Ellington and fully guaranteed pacts with their other 13 players, though Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding suggested this week that Xavier Henry was the most likely cut if the team were to ink Miller.

Jazz Waive Jordan Hamilton

The Jazz have waived swingman Jordan Hamilton, the team announced. Hamilton secured a partial guarantee of $25K when he signed his contract with the Raptors in the offseason, and that carried over when the Jazz claimed him off waivers before opening night. However, Hamilton has already earned more than $25K of his minimum salary by virtue of sticking on the roster for more than five days, so the Jazz aren’t eating any additional guaranteed salary with today’s move. Utah drops to 14 players with Hamilton off the roster.

The 24-year-old had been on the inactive list for each of the team’s first five games, so it seemed Utah simply didn’t have room for him on a roster that has no shortage of wing players. Hamilton was the 26th overall pick in 2011, but the Nuggets declined their fourth-year team option on his rookie scale contract last fall, setting him up for free agency this summer. He finished out last season with the Rockets after a deadline trade, and he made a strong push for a roster spot this fall in Toronto, averaging 9.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game across six preseason appearances.

The Heat worked out Hamilton over the summer, and the Timberwolves were among those in attendance for a work out Hamilton staged for multiple teams during the offseason, but it’s unclear if the interest from either Miami or Minnesota lingers. His release saves Utah from continuing to pay a player it wasn’t using and frees up a roster spot, though there’s no immediate indication as to whether or not the Jazz have plans to fill that opening in the near future. Coach Quin Snyder‘s comfort with Joe Ingles, whom the team claimed off waivers at the same time it did so with Hamilton, empowered the Jazz to make today’s move, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

Jazz Claim Hamilton, Ingles, Waive Felix

The Jazz have waived Carrick Felix, and they’ve claimed Jordan Hamilton and Joe Ingles off waivers, the team announced in a pair of releasesAdrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first reported the waiver claims and tweeted the news that the team would release Felix. Utah had been carrying 14 players, so at least one had to go to accommodate the pair of claims. Hamilton, whose minimum-salary deal is partially guaranteed for $25K, comes from the Raptors, so Toronto is no longer on the hook for that money. The Clippers had placed their non-guaranteed contract with Ingles on waivers.

Hamilton made it tough on the Raptors this month, though they ultimately decided to go with Greg Stiemsma over both Hamilton and Will Cherry as they all battled for one open regular season roster spot with matching $25K guarantees. Hamilton averaged 9.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game in the preseason, more playing time than he had seen in any of his three regular seasons since becoming the 26th overall pick in 2011.

Ingles was a hot commodity after his showing for the Australian national team in the World Cup. The Jazz were among a host of teams that were eyeing the swingman as early as this past spring, and he ultimately decided on the Clippers, though it was surprising to see him fail to garner any guaranteed salary. He’ll make the minimum this year.

Felix’s minimum salary was fully guaranteed, so Utah is on the hook for that money unless he clears waivers. The 33rd overall pick from last year played nine D-League games and seven NBA contests last year with the Cavs, who sent him out primarily for financial reasons in the July trade that brought him to Utah. He has a non-guaranteed salary for 2015/16 that will disappear if he clears waivers.

Utah creeps closer to this year’s $63.065MM cap with today’s pickups, but the Jazz still have less than $60MM in committed salary for this season.

Raptors Waive Will Cherry, Jordan Hamilton

The Raptors have officially waived Will Cherry and Jordan Hamilton, the team announced (Twitter link). These moves reduce Toronto’s preseason roster count to 15 players, which is the league’s regular season limit. Both players had their deals partially guaranteed for $25K, so the Raptors are on the hook for a total of $50K as a result. Presumably, that means Greg Stiemsma has made the opening-night roster on his $25K partially guaranteed deal.

The 6’1″, 23-year-old Cherry averaged 12.8 PPG and 4.0 RPG while logging  25.3 minutes per contest in five games for the Cavs Summer League team in Las Vegas. Cherry also played for the Cavs’ D-League affiliate last season, when he provided 11.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 4.5 APG in 30.4 MPG.

Hamilton is a player who is sure to garner interest from other NBA teams looking for some help on the wing. The 24-year-old out of Texas for his career has appeared in 126 games, averaging 5.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG, and 0.8 APG. His slash line is .406/.358/.671.

Eastern Notes: Saric, Hamilton, Thibodeau

Dario Saric is unlikely to end up signing with the Sixers this season even as his father threatens to find a way out of the forward’s deal with Turkey’s Anadolu Efes, sources tell Eliot Shorr-Parks of Shorr-Parks hears there’s no buyout clause in the Efes deal, so Saric couldn’t come to NBA next season, either, as he hinted he might, unless Anadolu Efes consents.

Here’s more from the east:

  • Positions won’t play much into the Sixers‘ thinking when the team decides on its opening night roster, as coach Brett Brown said, notes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I’m not out to construct an incredibly well-balanced team,” Brown said. “If we’ve got to tilt because we’ve got a bunch of interesting wings, then that’s the way we will go. … This team is going to be fluid, as we all know.”
  • Jordan Hamilton said he knows he’s working to impress not just the Raptors but for the other 29 teams, too, in case Toronto doesn’t retain his partially guaranteed contract come opening night, tweets Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun. Hamilton is up against Greg Stiemsma and Will Cherry, each of whom has the same $25K partial guarantee, with seemingly one regular season roster spot to go around for the three.
  • There’s more talk around the Bulls that the team will give Tom Thibodeau a raise than that the coach will be on his way out of Chicago in the foreseeable future, as USA Today’s Sam Amick writes in a piece that sizes up the job security of all 30 coaches.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Anthony, Karasev

The Raptors are strong favorites to repeat as Atlantic Division champs, as Hoops Rumors readers asserted last month, a feat that would be a first in franchise history. It’s easy for forget that a year ago, the team was on the verge of a tear-down as new GM Masai Ujiri was unsure about just what he had on the roster. The Raptors didn’t make any superstar additions in between now and then, and their sudden success story is a model that many other front offices would certainly like to duplicate. While we wait to see if Toronto can keep it up, here’s more on the Raptors and their rivals in the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors aren’t ready to commit to any of the three players seemingly competing for the final spot on the team’s regular season roster, coach Dwane Casey said, as Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun details. “We’re not in a hurry whatsoever,” Casey said. “All three men have done an excellent job in practice. Will Cherry is as tough a little competitor as you can find. Jordan Hamilton is a great scorer and really fighting on the defensive end and Greg Stiemsma is a solid, solid big man, veteran big man who has done some great things in the post. It may go down to the wire, the last day of camp because those guys have deserved it.”
  • Joel Anthony certainly had plenty of financial incentive when he opted into his $3.8MM salary this season, but he maintains that money wasn’t his primary motivation to stick with the Celtics, as Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald notes. “It was about wanting to get an opportunity to come into camp and get a chance to prove myself and get on the court,” Anthony said. “This was the best opportunity I had. I don’t know what would have happened in free agency or whatnot, but I just felt that coming back to the team after being here the last three months and knowing the coaches and knowing the players and everything like that, this was what was best for me. It just seemed like a better situation for me to come back here.”
  • The Nets had the chance to acquire a pair of second-round picks in this summer’s three-team trade with the Cavs and Celtics, but they insisted that they receive Sergey Karasev instead, NetsDaily’s Robert Windrem tweets.

Contract Details: Clarkson, Young, Powell

Eric Pincus has once more updated his Basketball Insiders salary pages, and included in his changes are a few tidbits of previously unreported news on players who’ve signed this summer. We’ll pass along those items here:

  • The two-year deal that Jerrelle Benimon signed with the Nuggets is for the minimum salary and is partially guaranteed for $35K this season, while his 2015/16 salary is non-guaranteed, Pincus reports (Twitter link).
  • The Blazers gave Diante Garrett a $30K guarantee in the first year of his two-year minimum salary deal, but the second year is non-guaranteed, Pincus notes on Twitter.
  • Patric Young‘s two-year deal with the Pelicans is a minimum-salary arrangement that’s partially guaranteed for $55K this season, but it’s otherwise non-guaranteed, Pincus notes (Twitter link). Darius Miller‘s deal with the team is partially guaranteed for $400K this year but otherwise non-guaranteed, Pincus adds.
  • Both Will Cherry‘s and Jordan Hamilton‘s salaries are guaranteed for $25K for the 2014/15 season, Pincus tweets, adding that Hamilton’s pact is for the minimum. The Raptors signed Cherry to a two-year minimum salary deal, and Hamilton to a one-year arrangement. Cherry’s salary for 2015/16 is non-guaranteed, Pincus adds.
  • Dwight Powell‘s deal with the Cavaliers is fully guaranteed for the first season, with the second year non-guaranteed, Pincus reports (Twitter link). The contract covers just those two seasons, as Pincus notes.
  • The Spurs‘ two-year deal with JaMychal Green is for the minimum salary and has a $60K guarantee for this coming season, Pincus reports (Twitter link). It’s non-guaranteed for 2015/16, according to Pincus.
  • Sim Bhullar‘s deal is for one year and comes with a guarantee of $35K, while Eric Moreland‘s three-year contract is guaranteed for $200K this coming season and is otherwise non-guaranteed, Pincus notes (Twitter link). Both players are with the Kings, and, according to Pincus, make the minimum.
  • The two-year, minimum-salary deal that Jordan Clarkson signed with the Lakers is fully guaranteed for this coming season, but the 2015/16 season is non-guaranteed, Pincus reports (Twitter link).

Contract Details: Inglis, Heat, Jazz, Hamilton

The pace of signings is slow this time of year, but teams continue to add to their rosters. Eric Pincus reveals some previously unreported details about a handful of these signings within his latest updates to the salary pages at Basketball Insiders, so we’ll pass along the news here:

  • The Bucks are giving 31st overall pick Damien Inglis guaranteed salaries of $820K this season and $855K for 2015/16, both amounts that are more than the minimum, as Pincus notes (Twitter link). It’s a three-year deal in all that features a non-guaranteed season at the minimum salary in the contract’s final year. Milwaukee used part of its cap space to accommodate the signing.
  • Tyler Johnson‘s minimum salary with the Heat this season is guaranteed for $75K, while his minimum salary for next season is without a guarantee, according to Pincus. Reggie Williams is receiving a non-guaranteed minimum salary in his pact with the Heat this year, as Pincus also reveals.
  • The Jazz gave Dee Bost a $65K guarantee this season, while the other two years of his three-year contract for the minimum salary are non-guaranteed, Pincus reports. Pincus also notes that the team gave Jack Cooley a three-year deal for the minimum, though it remains unclear whether any of Cooley’s pay is guaranteed. Utah used cap space rather than the minimum-salary exception on Bost and Cooley, since the minimum-salary exception only allows for two-year deals.
  • The Raptors have the means to shell out more than the minimum salary, but they didn’t give Jordan Hamilton any more than that, as Pincus documents. Hamilton’s deal is reportedly partially guaranteed, but just how much he’s guaranteed remains unknown.
  • Darius Morris is on a one-year deal with the Blazers, Pincus shows.

Heat Rumors: Douglas-Roberts, Crawford, Okafor

The Heat have far outpaced all other teams in free agent spending this summer, as I chronicled earlier this week. Miami is limited to the minimum salary at this point, which wouldn’t add to the total of more than $220MM that appears on my list, since it didn’t take into account anyone on a minimum-salary deal. Still, Pat Riley and company continue to scour the market, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald and Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel detail. We’ll highlight the latest here:

  • The Heat worked out Chris Douglas-Roberts, as Jackson writes in his latest dispatch after reporting late last month that the team was interested in the five-year veteran. Miami, which is looking to add a shooting guard, also worked out Jordan Hamilton, according to Jackson, though Hamilton instead wound up signing with the Raptors.
  • Miami has reached out to Jordan Crawford, too, and while the Heat like the former first-round pick, as Jackson writes, it doesn’t appear he’s reached the audition stage. Jackson confirms Miami’s interest in Leandro Barbosa.
  • There are other teams in the mix for Barbosa, but they, like the Heat, want to see if he can stay healthy as well as how he performs for Brazil in the upcoming FIBA World Cup, Winderman writes. The Sun Sentinel scribe believes the Heat would choose Crawford over Barbosa if it came to that.
  • Riley and his staff have been eyeing Emeka Okafor and Ekpe Udoh, as finding a big man has been team’s other focus, Jackson reports. There have been question marks about Okafor’s health, and while he and Udoh have also drawn interest from the Clippers, there hasn’t been much chatter this summer surrounding either former top-10 pick.
  • The Heat made preliminary inquiries about Andray Blatche and Jason Maxiell, according to Jackson. Miami has been reluctant to sign Blatche in the past out of concern about his maturity level and behavior, as Jackson wrote a couple of weeks ago, but apparently the team won’t definitively rule him out. The market for Maxiell has been quiet since the Magic let him go on the Fourth of July.
  • Agent David Falk spoke with the Heat about Elton Brand, but it’s unlikely that the 35-year-old will join Miami for this season, Jackson says. The Hawks and Knicks reportedly had their sights set on Brand as free agency began, but Brand rumors have otherwise proven scarce.

Raptors Sign Jordan Hamilton

MONDAY, 1:54pm: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.

FRIDAY, 11:50am: Hamilton’s deal is partially guaranteed, according to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun (on Twitter).  He adds that the odds of Hamilton making the team are long.

THURSDAY, 10:46am: The Raptors have reached agreement on a one-year deal with free agent Jordan Hamilton, according to Shams Charania of RealGM (on Twitter).

The Rockets acquired Hamilton from the Nuggets at the trade deadline in exchange for Aaron Brooks.  The 23-year-old (24 in October) made eleven starts for the banged up Denver squad and also saw significant playing time with the Rockets.  In total, Hamilton averaged 6.7 PPG and 3.2 RPG in 17 minutes per contest last season.

Hamilton drew a surprising amount of trade interest last season as the Knicks were also hot on his heels.  The proposed trade would have sent Beno Udrih to Denver but the Nuggets wound up entertaining multiple offers for the youngster and chose to go with the Rockets’ pitch.

Hamilton auditioned for teams roughly one month ago and the Timberwolves were among those in attendance.  However, he’ll be heading north of the border to join up with last year’s Atlantic Division champions.