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Justin Hamilton signs with European team

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July 18, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA;   Miami Heat center Justin Hamilton (44) blocks a shot by Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) during the game at the Thomas and Mack Center.  Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
July 18, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Miami Heat center Justin Hamilton (44) blocks a shot by Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) during the game at the Thomas and Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Louisiana State center Justin Hamilton, the Miami Heat's acquisition from the 2012 NBA Draft, has signed a contract to play with European club Cibona Zagreb. The Sun-Sentinel's Ira Winderman was first to report this story. The Heat will retain Hamilton's draft rights. Pat Riley said right after drafting Hamilton that the 7-footer could spend a year overseas for seasoning.

Miami still has 13 players under contract, two below the league limit for rosters. Media reports have previously linked the Heat to free agent big men Darko Milicic and Andray Blatche, and training camp is only six weeks away. Perhaps now with Hamilton and Ronny Turiaf gone, Riley will sign someone who can bolster his frontline. Beyond Chris Bosh, Miami only has the 6-foot-10 small forward Rashard Lewis, the undersized and offensively inept Joel Anthony, a past-his-prime Udonis Haslem and Dexter Pittman, whose pedestrian play during the regular season had Riley looking to sign Kenyon Martin and Joel Przybilla before settling on Turiaf. Lest we forget, Pittman also started in Game 3 of the Heat's second-round series against the Pacers, where he looked totally helpless against Roy Hibbert for his brief three-minute stint. Miami tried to sign Marcus Camby earlier in free agency, and the Heat still could use some added quality depth to the power rotation.