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Justin Hamilton's contract to become partially guaranteed

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Justin Hamilton's contract becomes partially guaranteed beginning on August 1, and it seems the Heat will keep their 7'0 prospect center.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking to the media for the first time since the wake of LeBron James' decision to return to Cleveland, Heat President Pat Riley answered questions about the team and the future. In the small details that didn't include LeBron, Riley hinted that the team will keep Justin Hamilton past the deadline on Friday (per Barry Jackson, Miami Herald)

Hamilton joined the Heat in March last year for the remainder of the season, but played sparingly. He is a 7'0 center who has some range. The Heat were pleased with Hamilton's progress and encouraged with him leading the team through the summer leagues in both Orlando and Las Vegas.

Hamilton's contract for 2014-15 is a league minimum $816,482. He is guaranteed nearly half of that if on the roster Friday. Hamilton's contract will still be a non-guaranteed deal for part of the following season.

By keeping Hamilton, the Heat would then rest with only two centers on the roster, with the other being Chris Andersen. There hasn't been any signs that the Heat would bring back Greg Oden, the only other center, unless you are counting Chris Bosh in the mix.

For the Heat, keeping Justin Hamilton would continue familiarity among a changing roster, and also give the team a cheaper option to fill out the roster. If Miami adds any veteran it's going to be at the veteran minimum which will be more expensive that Hamilton. The Heat are expecting to avoid the luxury tax this year and become a repeat offender.