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From Lone Peak High, to Iowa State, to LSU. From the Charlotte Bobcats to the Miami Heat, to the New Orleans Pelicans to the Minnesota Timberwolves. From playing in the NBA's developmental league in between stops, to going overseas and playing in the spanish league.

Basketball life has never been easy for Justin Hamilton. For a seven-footer with a feathery touch from the perimeter, an engaging smile off the court and a hustler's mentality between the lines, precious little has been handed to him in an era where seven-footers with shooting range are typically handed a lot.

Hamilton's perfected the description of the basketball journeyman. He's been friendly with his passport, and brushed up on foreign languages. His NBA life has been defined by the 10-day contract, the partially guaranteed deal and the angst of someone living at the end of a bench.

But after a year overseas, a remake of his body and playing style may have provided Hamilton with something that he's always craved: Security. The contract he recently signed with the Brooklyn Nets runs for two years and will pay him $6 million. The important part? There are no cut dates that he needs to play through. Everything is fully guaranteed.

For the first time since college, Justin Hamilton will know where he's going to play for two consecutive seasons.

"It means a lot," Hamilton said Wednesday, following a workout in Salt Lake City. "The goal was to have some security. After my one year in Minnesota, I was expecting a contract, one year for the minimum. But when they didn't offer me a contract, I sort of got fed up with the system, so I decided to go to Spain and make money. But I went there with the mindset to come back to America and hopefully having another chance to play in the NBA. I had a great year in Spain and played with a great team. I had interest from a couple of teams in the league, so this was a great feeling to have."

Hamilton felt wanted, which was important. As an ultimate late bloomer — Hamilton didn't start playing until he was 16 — he was a guy who won a state title with Lone Peak in 2008, but was a fifth option, rarely had plays specifically run for him and played in the long shadow of Tyler Haws.

Hamilton played his college ball out of state, partially because then-Utah coach Jim Boylen passed on him, even telling him that he "wasn't good enough." Hamilton had to transfer schools in order to find his niche at the college level. He's now 26, and as well-traveled as someone can be 10 years after embarking on the sport.

But he's also as tough as can be. Hamilton's journey has taught him how to grind through difficult circumstance, how to be resilient. Hamilton was always a good shooter, but he extended his range to 3-point land. He was always a decent athlete, but he changed his body over the last two years and became a beast running the floor. Playing at Iowa State and LSU meant playing in the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the most physical conferences in college basketball. So he's never been adverse to banging bodies in the paint.

"We thought Justin had a fantastic season over in Valencia," Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said at the time of his signing. "He's a stretch five, he can extend the floor from 3-point range. But he's more than a stretch five, because he's a tough guy. He knows how to play inside and he knows how to finish around the basket. We are excited to have him, and we're going to challenge him to be great on the defensive end."

One of the reasons Hamilton chose Brooklyn was the opportunity for playing time. For the first time in his NBA career, Hamilton is expected to be part of a regular rotation. Brook Lopez will be the starting center, but Hamilton will find plenty of minutes as his backup. And because he can shoot, there is a chance he will also see time at power forward in some bigger lineups.

The Nets aren't expected to be a great team. But with Atkinson heading into his first year, and General Manager Sean Marks heading into his first year, there is a sense that the franchise is starting over.

"We're going to be scrappy," Hamilton said. "We're going to play hard and we're going to show up every night."

A chance, that's all Hamilton has ever wanted. With Brooklyn, he's in the best situation in his pro career. It's rare that a player can make the NBA, leave the NBA and then make it back to the league. But Hamilton has accomplished that. He feels he's more than ready to take advantage.

twitter: @tjonessltrib —

About Justin Hamilton

• Was the center for Lone Peak High, the 2008 Class 5A state champion and one of the best high school teams in state history. Four starters went on to play Division I college basketball

• Was taken in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. Has been a D-League all-star and was also once named to the D-League's first team

• Played last season at Valencia Basket, one of the best teams in the Spanish League. Was named All-ACB first team