Miami Heat Center Preview: Time to Shine for Justin Hamilton?


Analyzing Last Year’s Performance

Justin Hamilton has had his fair share of ups and downs on the basketball court. The 24-year-old was drafted to the league in the 2012 NBA Draft, but so far has only played in seven NBA games. Coming in forty-fifth in the second round, the 7-foot Croatian center was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers, but traded to the Miami Heat for the rights of Arnett Moultrie.

In September of 2013, Hamilton was officially signed to the Heat, but was then waived in October. A few days later he was off to the D-League, signing with the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

In March of 2014 the Charlotte Bobcats called him up, and Hamilton was put on a 10-day contract. After not playing in a single game, Miami once again claimed him.

Unfortunately, his inconsistencies did not end there. Six days later, he was back with the Falls and four days after that, he was yet again a member of the Heat.

During his time in the D-League however, Hamilton made the All-NBA D-League First Team, the All-Defensive First Team and the NBA D-League All-Star Team. He averaged 19.2 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game, in a total of 39 appearances. He also ended up playing in seven games for the Heat, during which time they fell short to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals. Hamilton averaged 3.7 points and 1 rebound for 9.7 minutes of play.

How LeBron’s Departure Impacts His Role

Although LeBron James’ departure may not have a direct impact on Hamilton’s future with Miami, being around such a talented individual would have probably only motivated Hamilton further.

It is obvious to see that his NBA journey is anything but traditional, and it takes a certain type of personality to not give up on your dreams after being pulled in so many directions. Having James around as a constant reminder of success could have been useful for Hamilton in the upcoming season.

Projections for this Season

Truthfully, it is hard to tell whether Hamilton will even be around for the duration of next season. Being a third rotation option with not a lot of hands-on experience with the league, may not equal too much time on the clock for Hamilton.

However, he was given a chance during last year’s postseason, and has worked hard during training camp. Plus, as circumstances may have it, you never know when injuries might occur. Will this be Hamilton’s time to shine? Only time will tell.

“Why I’m Excited” – Wes Goldberg

Goggles, range and length. Hamilton is being molded into Bosh Lite, with the goal of bringing him in to stretch the floor. It was fun to see him go to work last season… on offense. On defense he was a hot mess and almost-always out of place. But I’m excited to see the next step in his development. If he can become less of a negative on defense, I see no reason why he wouldn’t make the team.

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