Lakers Sign UNLV Alum Bryce Hamilton & Waive LJ Figueroa
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have announced the signing of guard Bryce Hamilton — while requesting waivers on LJ Figueroa.

The Lakers signed Figueroa on Saturday, but the 24-year-old guard didn’t get to play a single minute for the Purple and Gold, failing to come off the bench in Sunday’s 124-121 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

Hamilton, a University of Las Vegas alum who went undrafted earlier this year, will replace Figueroa on the preseason roster. L.A. has two exhibition games left before the 2022-23 season’s tip-off.

Most recently, Hamilton played for the Miami Heat in the Las Vegas Summer League. He clocked in 16 minutes per game, recording 2.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 0.2 assists while shooting 30.4% from the field in five appearances.

In four years with UNLV, Hamilton averaged 14.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. The Pasadena native shot 42.9% from the field and 33.1% from downtown, and made 71% of his free throw attempts.

The 21-year-old is coming off his best college season, starting 31 of the 32 games he played for the Runnin’ Rebels as a senior and registering 21.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.2 assists — while shooting at an improved 34.6% rate from 3-point range.

In January, he scored a career-high 45 points in addition to seven rebounds and five assists in an 88-74 win against Colorado State.

Hamilton’s 2021-22 performance earned him his second All-Mountain West First Team nod — the 6-foot-4 guard received the honor for the first time in his sophomore year before featuring on the All-Mountain West Second Team in 2021.

As a late training camp signing, Hamilton is likely to start the 2022-23 campaign with the South Bay Lakers in the G League.

Darvin Ham says he’ll use regular-season rotation in Lakers’ two final preseason games

Hamilton is unlikely to feature alongside Lakers stars in the remaining two preseason games. Head coach Darvin Ham said he will use a regular-season rotation in the matchups with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings.

“You’re strategic about which games you want to participate in,” Ham said. “Leave some time in the middle to see how their body reacts, to build back up, and then finalize with the last two preseason games.”

And he added: “We feel good about where we are. Those last two games will be more regular season-like in terms of the rotation and who’s available so we feel like we’re right on course with what we need to do.”

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