Justin Hamilton

Justin Hamilton Signs In Spain

Free agent center Justin Hamilton has signed a contract in Spain with Baxi Manresa, the team announced on Sunday (via Twitter). Hamilton spent the past five seasons playing in China.

Along with holding ample overseas experience, Hamilton has appeared in 113 NBA games. The No. 45 pick of the 2012 draft has spent time with the Hornets, Heat, Timberwolves and Nets.

The 7’0″ Hamilton played collegiately at Iowa State and LSU before declaring for the draft. He has also made international stops in Croatia and Latvia, plus a separate stint in Spain during the 2015/16 campaign.

Hamilton’s minutes and production in China gradually declined over time. Nevertheless, the 32-year-old averaged 12.4 points and 7.3 rebounds in eight games last season, along with 16.7 points and 7.0 rebounds in 35 contests the season before that.

And-Ones: Hampton, China, Hamilton, More

RJ Hampton‘s stock has dipped a little in the last year, as he’s no longer a slam-dunk lottery pick, ranking 13th overall on ESPN’s big board. However, Hampton feels that spending the season in New Zealand was a learning experience and believes he’s still very capable of being a difference-maker at the NBA level, as he tells Ian Begley of SNY.tv.

“I was a projected top-five pick last year. I went overseas, I learned a lot, I didn’t have superior numbers and I was kind of forgotten about,” Hampton said. “The message that I was trying to get across (in his video meeting with the Knicks) is, ‘I’m still that same player. I’m still that player that can get you 20-25 points, 6-7 assists, be that lead guard and a franchise changer.'”

Hampton’s jump shot, particularly from beyond the arc, is one potential area of concern for NBA teams. However, former NBA sharpshooter Mike Miller, who has been helping Hampton train in Memphis, is confident that the youngster will eventually be a “high-30s, low-40s percent three-point shooter,” as Begley relays.

“It’s not a guess. I’ve seen the progress he’s done in two months, so I know what the progress is going to be in three years,” Miller said. “… When he continues the way he’s training, he’ll be so dynamic in the NBA.”

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Asked earlier this week by Bob Costas on CNN about the NBA’s relationship with a “brutal human rights abuser like China,” commissioner Adam Silver offered a long explanation for why the league is continuing to try to grow the game there (link via Sopan Deb of The New York Times). I think those are decisions are for our government, in terms of where American businesses should operate,” Silver said. “I continue to believe that the people-to-people exchanges we’re seeing by playing in China are positive and it’s helping.”
  • Former NBA center Justin Hamilton, who appeared in 113 games for four teams between 2013-17, is signing a new contract with China’s Beijing Ducks, agent Andy Shiffman confirmed to JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link). Emiliano Carchia of Sportando previously reported that Hamilton was expected to remain in Beijing.
  • Zach Harper of The Athletic evaluates how much – or how little – the 12 teams eliminated from the postseason so far should be panicking, explaining why the Sixers, Bucks, and Clippers should be a whole lot more concerned than the Nets, Mavericks, and Pacers.

Justin Hamilton Re-Signs With Beijing Ducks

Former NBA big man Justin Hamilton has re-signed with the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to Sportando.

Hamilton, 29, will suit up for a third consecutive season in China after spending parts of three seasons in the NBA. The seven-fo0ter was a second-round pick in 2012 and went on to play for the Hornets, Heat, Timberwolves and Nets. Hamilton’s most recent – and most substantial – NBA experience came in 2016/17 when he appeared in 64 games for Brooklyn.

Last season, Hamilton posted impressive numbers for the Ducks, averaging 23.3 PPG and 9.7 RPG in 45 games. The year before, he posted 24.8 PPG and 10.9 RPG for Beijing.

International Notes: Fredette, Hamilton, Seraphin

After considering a possible NBA return, Jimmer Fredette will spend at least one more season in China, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. Fredette has agreed to a one-year deal in the $1.8MM range to remain with the Shanghai Sharks. The 28-year-old is coming off an MVP season in the Chinese Basketball Association, averaging 37.4 points per game, along  with 7.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists.

The 10th player taken in the 2011 draft, Fredette started his career in Sacramento but never developed into the player the Kings had hoped. He also spent time with the Bulls, Pelicans and Knicks before leaving the NBA after the 2015/16 season. He reportedly turned down several 10-day offers at the end of last season.

There’s more news on the international front:

  • Justin Hamilton, who was waived by the Raptors last week after being acquired in a trade with the Nets, has signed with the Beijing Ducks of the CBA, according to Orazio Carcia of Sportando. Hamilton, who was part of the deal that sent DeMarre Carroll to Brooklyn, averaged 6.9 points and 4.1 rebounds in 64 games with the Nets last season.
  • Barcelona has interest in Kevin Seraphin if he isn’t retained by the Pacers, according to Dario Destri of Sportando. Seraphin’s $1,974,159 salary for next season doesn’t become guaranteed until August 1st, and the Pacers already have 14 players with guaranteed deals. He signed with Indiana last summer after spending five years with the Wizards and one with the Knicks. In his only season as a Pacer, Seraphin appeared in 49 games, averaging 4.7 points and 2.9 rebounds per night.
  • Ryan Arcidiacono, a former Italian league star who spent last season with the Spurs’ affiliate in the G-League, will return to Italy with Juvecaserta, tweets Chris Reichert of 2 Ways and 10 Days. Arcidiacono was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2016 NCAA Tournament at Villanova.

International Notes: Huertas, Hamilton, Langford

Veteran guard Marcelo Huertas, who appeared in 76 games for the Lakers over the last two seasons, appears to be headed back overseas. According to international basketball journalist David Pick (Twitter link), Huertas is joining Spanish team Unicaja Malaga, this year’s EuroCup winners.

Huertas averaged 16.4 MPG in 53 contests during his first year in L.A., but saw his role reduced in 2016/17, playing in just 23 games before he was traded to Houston. The Rockets immediately waived Huertas, giving him the opportunity to return to Europe.

Here are a few more updates on international transactions with NBA connections:

  • Having been traded by the Nets and waived by the Raptors already this month, center Justin Hamilton appears poised to land in China. Eurohoops passes along a report from Sport 24 that suggests Hamilton is on the verge of signing a lucrative contract with the Beijing Ducks.
  • Another notable player is making the move to China, according to David Pick, who reports (via Twitter) that Euroleague scoring leader Keith Langford has agreed to a $2.1MM deal with the Shenzhen Leopards. Langford, 33, has had a long and successful career overseas, appearing only briefly in the NBA with the Spurs in 2007/08.
  • Veteran forward Cory Jefferson has signed in Italy with EA7 Milano, a source tells David Pick (Twitter link). It’ll be the first stint in Europe for Jefferson, who played for the Nets and Suns between 2014 and 2016 and was in camp with the Cavaliers last year.

Raptors Waive Justin Hamilton

JULY 14: The Raptors have officially waived Hamilton, per the NBA’s official transactions log.

JULY 9: The Raptors will waive newly acquired center Justin Hamilton and stretch the remainder of his contract, Brian Windhorst of ESPN tweets.

Hamilton and his $3MM 2017/18 deal were acquired from the Nets in the trade that sent DeMarre Carroll to Brooklyn.

Per Bobby Marks of ESPN, the cap hit will be stretched into $1MM over each of the next three seasons. This, he adds, puts the Raptors $2.5MM below the luxury tax line.

Raptors Trade DeMarre Carroll To Nets

JULY 13: The trade is now official, the Nets and Raptors announced today in a pair of press releases. Brooklyn receives Carroll, the Raptors’ 2018 first-round pick, and the less favorable of the Lakers’ and Magic’s 2018 second-round picks. The Raptors receive Hamilton and create an $11.8MM trade exception.

JULY 8: The Raptors have agreed to trade DeMarre Carroll to the Nets in a salary-dump deal, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. According to Wojnarowski, Brooklyn will receive first- and second-round picks for 2018 from the Raptors, and will send Justin Hamilton to Toronto.DeMarre Caroll horizontal

Even though they lost P.J. Tucker and Patrick Patterson in free agency, the Raptors’ new agreements with Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka pushed them into luxury-tax territory. Team ownership had expressed a willingness to pay the tax in certain scenarios, but in this case, Toronto was believed to be looking for a way back below that threshold, having also reportedly shopped Cory Joseph and Jonas Valanciunas.

In Carroll, the Nets will be landing a veteran swingman who has battled health issues since leaving the Hawks in 2015. Carroll signed a lucrative four-year deal with the Raptors that summer, but only appeared in 26 games in his first season with the franchise, and never appeared to be back to his old self in 2016/17, despite starting 72 games. In 26.1 minutes per contest last season, Carroll averaged 8.9 PPG and 3.8 RPG, with a shooting line of .400/.341/.761.

Carroll is owed $14.8MM in 2017/18 and $15.4MM in 2018/19, while Hamilton’s expiring contract is worth just $3MM. However, having had their offer sheet to Otto Porter matched by the Wizards, the Nets will have an excess of cap room to accommodate a salary dump of this nature, and should still have $15MM+ available if they want to pursue another free agent or take on another contract.

Meanwhile, the Raptors project to get out of tax territory by moving Carroll, and should have the flexibility to retain Joseph and Valanciunas, who are key pieces in their rotation. The team also still has its full mid-level exception available, though team salary isn’t very far below the $119.266MM tax line, and using more than the taxpayer MLE would create a hard cap of $125.266MM. As such, the club may not be eager to use that MLE.

Hamilton, 27, will head to Toronto in the swap, coming off a career year for Brooklyn. The veteran center averaged 6.9 PPG and 4.1 RPG in 64 games (18.4 MPG) for the Nets. He also made a career-best 0.9 threes per game, albeit at a mediocre 30.6% rate. Hamilton could be an interesting addition to Toronto’s frontcourt, but the Raptors figure to be on the lookout for help on the wing, with big-bodied swingman Carroll and Tucker both moving on this summer.

As for the draft picks changing hands in this deal, the Raptors’ first-round pick heading to the Nets will be lottery-protected, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link). Toronto has already traded its own 2018 second-round pick, but holds the rights to the less favorable of the Lakers’ and Magic’s second-rounder, so that figures to be the other selection headed to Brooklyn.

The deal won’t be finalized until the Nets’ cap room for the Porter offer sheet officially opens back up.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

New York Notes: Motiejunas, LeVert, Knicks, Rose

Donatas Motiejunas would have been a huge addition for the Nets if the Rockets hadn’t matched his offer sheet, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Having another 7-footer on the court would have helped a team that ranks last in points allowed and scoring margin. Motiejunas could also have provided a fourth scorer in the starting lineup. The Nets have given more than 800 combined front line minutes to Justin Hamilton and Luis Scola, neither of whom is having a productive season. After matching the four-year, $37MM offer sheet, Houston worked out a separate deal with Motiejunas, then waived him after his physical. That made him a restricted free agent, but he’s not permitted to sign with Brooklyn for a full year after the offer sheet was matched.

The Nets still have nearly $17.8MM in cap room and seem like obvious candidates to make some roster moves before the February 23rd trade deadline. “Will we be active? I think we’ll be strategic,’’ GM Sean Marks said. “We’re not just going to jump on something.”

There’s more news today out of New York:

  • Nets rookie Caris LeVert can expect to see his minutes expanded as the season wears on, according to NetsDaily. LeVert had nine points and seven rebounds in Friday’s loss to Cleveland and is making an impression on coach Kenny Atkinson“I love how hard he plays. Good for him to see a few shots go down,” Atkinson said. “That’s a positive we get out of this game.”
  • The Knicks‘ winning record isn’t impressive because it was built against lower-level teams, charges Marc Berman of The New York Post. With today’s loss to the Celtics, New York is now 16-14, but just 3-10 against teams that are .500 or better. “That’s the jump we got to make,’’ shooting guard Courtney Lee said. “Just learn from it and put it all together so when we play those losing teams we’re supposed to take of, we do that, but then the plus-.500 teams we got to start taking care of that, too.”
  • Derrick Rose is hoping to remain healthy for the rest of the season after recovering from back spasms, Berman writes in a separate story. After appearing in 66 games with the Bulls last season, Rose has been able to play in 25 of the Knicks’ first 30 contests. “I feel good,” he said. “Not feeling my back anymore. My body is healthy — just trying to find a rhythm, just trying to play my game, either a floater or try to finish at the rim or me trying to dunk. I feel all three elements are my game.”

Atlantic Notes: Hamilton, Knicks, Sixers, Horford

Justin Hamilton wasn’t seriously considering the Nets as a free agent until he met with GM Sean Marks and coach Kenny Atkinson, Ryan Lazo of the New York Post reports. After a productive season in Spain, Hamilton attracted a lot of attention from NBA clubs before he signed a two-year, $6MM contract with Brooklyn. The 7-foot center has emerged as a key reserve, averaging 9.8 points and 5.5 rebounds. “They were kind of like the dark horse in there,” Hamilton told Lazo of the free agent process. “I was hearing from a lot of teams and my agent would always slip in Brooklyn. Then when I finally got to talk to Sean and Kenny, it was a great conversation. I didn’t even realize they were watching me over there and following me.”

In other news around the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks rookie Willy Hernangomez has been inserted into the rotation but his first outing in that role was a mixed bag, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Hernangomez grabbed 12 rebounds in 23 minutes against the Celtics on Friday but also made five turnovers and blew a couple of layups. The 6’10” Hernangomez has displaced Kyle O’Quinn, who only played three garbage-time minutes. Hernangomez was signed to a partially-guaranteed four-year, $5.9MM contract in July.
  • Getting a clearer vision of the current roster, rather than wins and losses, is paramount for the Sixers this season, Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Inquirer opines. Finding out whether Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor can play together, determining whether Sergio Rodriguez can thrive in the role of backup point guard, and seeing if power forward Ersan Ilyasova is worth re-signing are some of the issues that need to be sorted out, according to Cooney.
  • Celtics forward Al Horford is close to returning after missing five games with a concussion, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe relays. Horford was injured during a Halloween practice. “It’s been a challenge for me because I’ve had to be patient,” he told Himmelsbach. “The good thing is that now I’m at the point that I’m starting to feel good again.”

Nets, Justin Hamilton Agree To Deal

JULY 10, 7:36pm: The signing is official, the team announced on its website.Justin Hamilton vertical

JULY 1, 7:44pm: The Nets and Justin Hamilton have agreed to a two-year deal worth $6MM, Shams Charania of The Vertical reports on Twitter. The contract is fully guaranteed as Hamilton’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, tells Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link).

Hamilton is a 7’0″ center who last played in the NBA for the Wolves during the 2014/15 campaign. He spent last season playing for Valencia Basket of the Liga ACB in Europe.

Before signing the big man, Brooklyn only had nine players under contract, as the team’s depth chart at Roster Resource indicates. Hamilton is the second player whom the team has agreed to a deal with since free agency began. The team agreed to terms with Jeremy Lin early today.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.