|Penny Hardaway waived by Heat, making room for Luke Jackson|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 12 December 2007 09:22|
The 36-year-old forward was waived Wednesday, a move that cleared the roster spot Miami needed to sign another former first-round draft pick - guard Luke Jackson.
Hardaway signed a non-guaranteed contract with Miami this summer after recovering from an array of injuries that kept him off the court for nearly three full seasons. He started eight times this season for the Heat, but averaged only 3.8 points on 37 percent shooting, and didn't play in any of Miami's past four games.
Hardaway has a 15.2 point-per-game average in 704 career regular-season games. He was told of Miami's decision Wednesday morning before practice. He could be claimed off waivers by another team within a 48-hour window, although it's unclear if any other clubs will have interest.
Hardaway showed flashes of production with Miami: His 6-for-6, 16-point night in New Jersey on Nov. 17 keyed a 91-87 Heat victory.
In the four weeks that have followed, he managed a total of 19 points.
The once-electric guard was a fast-rising star when he entered the NBA for the 1993-94 season. One year later, he and Shaquille O'Neal brought an Eastern Conference championship to Orlando.
But knee problems kept Hardaway to 59 games in 1996-97, then surgery limited him to 19 games the following year. In the years that followed, he's battled plantar fasciitis, more knee surgery, thumb surgery and even more knee surgery.
He worked through all that and earned a shot with Miami. But when the Heat decided it wanted Jackson - who essentially plays the same position - it deemed Hardaway expendable.
So now, Miami will see what kind of offensive boost the 26-year-old Jackson can provide.
Jackson was the 10th overall pick by Cleveland in the 2004 draft, then played only 10 games that year for the Cavaliers. The former Oregon star also has played with the Los Angeles Clippers and Toronto Raptors, plus done stints in the NBDL.
Jackson signed with the Idaho Stampeders last week, scored 30 points in his first game with that club, then left the team for his workout with the Heat.