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Will the Heat go after Erick Dampier?

Sep 14, 2010, 3:38 PM EDT

Dampier.jpgI’ve lost count of how many centers the Miami Heat have under contract. Roughly the size of the Orc army in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, by my guess. But I could be off by a few.

But they might add one more — Erick Dampier. The Miami Herald was doing a little speculating.

Sure, the Heat has about 28 feet of bodies committed to the center spot in the likes of 7-3 Zydrunas Ilgauskas, 6-9 Joel Anthony, 6-11 Jamaal Magloire and 6-10 Dexter Pittman. Each has either unique size or gifts. None is close to being the complete package that would make him the clear-cut anchor at the position.

Monday was the first day the Bobcats could look at trades for Dampier. He has a non-garunteed $13 million contract, one that can be waived and you save a lot of money. The Bobcats want some value for that, but if nothing else they will waive him to save money. One way or another, he is going to become a free agent in the coming weeks.

If there is one thing Pat Riley does, it’s find value in that market.

Is Dampier that much better than what the Heat currently have on the roster? Well, yes. Which says plenty about what they have. Anthony has shot blocking skills but is undersized for the five. Big Z has a midrange game but is not fleet of foot. It gets worse from there.

Frankly, Bosh is going to end up playing plenty at the five this season, and many nights that will be fine. But by the playoffs the Heat need to be able to counter when they run into Dwight Howard or the two O’Neals and Perkins in Boston or Andrew Bynum in Los Angeles. Teams will attack that spot in a seven-game series if they think they have found a weakness.

Or, the Heat could just overwhelm teams at other spots on the floor. That may be the model that works best.

  1. Mo - Sep 14, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    This presumes that no one would sign Dampier for more than the minimum or that Dampier would leave money on the table to play for the Heat. Is there evidence that either will happen?

  2. K Factor - Sep 15, 2010 at 12:03 AM

    Riley will pitch to Dampier that he will be a starter on a amazing team obviously and compete for a ring the rest of his career. Also the no state or income tax thing in Florida plus the Heat are about Loyalty and Family and how much they need him. Plus the weather and free Carnival cruises from Mickey Arison can’t hurt lol. I have a feeling he’ll be on the HEAT’s roster in a week or so.

  3. Jack - Sep 18, 2010 at 8:00 PM

    Only two teams are really in the running for Dampier – Houston and Atlanta. Atlanta could offer the full MLE but has little or no prospects of being a contender. Houston might be a better chance at a ring but they can only offer a little more than $1m than the Heat. Dampier has already made $95m over his career and the bet is $1m won’t make much difference if he thinks the Heat can get him a ring. Next year the Heat will have the MLE and lower level exception and could offer him an upgrade in salary next year if they want him bad enough. We’ll see.

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