Saturday, January 10th marks the date in which all non-guaranteed NBA contracts become guaranteed, and as a result this may spell doom for some current Miami Heat players. NBA teams have until Wednesday (at 5pm) to waive non-guaranteed contracts, and Justin Hamilton, Hassan Whiteside, and Andre Dawkins' partially guaranteed contracts fall into sights. That being said, it's likely that if anybody is waived it be Hamilton, or Dawkins.
Whiteside has showcased a tantalizing upside in his multiple big games in Hamilton's absence due to possible concussion symptoms, and is thus making a case for big minutes as well as a potential starting job.
In the games Hamilton did play in this year, he was average. Hamilton appeared jumpy and anxious, and rarely proved to be a factor on the defensive end. His use as a big man is underwhelming considering he started multiple games. In 17 games played this season, Hamilton has only grabbed a total of 39 rebounds, and he's averaging just 2.3 a game according to Stat Muse.
Andre Dawkins might also find himself on the chopping block come Wednesday. The shooter has played in just four games this season for the Heat and in doing so has been average at best. That's not to say he hasn't been active recently -- he has been -- but he just hasn't been able to crack Spoelstra's rotation. Dawkins was playing phenomenally in Sioux Falls before Miami called him up.
The Heat need to shake things up, and by waiving Hamilton or Dawkins they free up roster spots for free agents or promising players on their D-League affiliate including Tyler Johnson, Khem Birch as well as Larry Drew II. With some of Sioux Falls players being looked at by other NBA clubs, this might be the only chance the Heat have in securing a player (most likely Birch, who is being eyed by the Clippers) to a ten-day deal next Tuesday.
With Miami being granted a player exception with the loss of Josh McRoberts for the season and looking at various scoring big men, it is fair to speculate that Hamilton's days in South Florida may be at an end.
It seems unfair that Miami is letting Hamilton go after he faced adversity coming into the season regarding his heart condition, as well as recently dealing with a concussion, but fans must remember this is a business first and that nobody is safe when it comes to professional sports.