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Report: Miami, Phoenix start talking to Erick Dampier again

Nov 11, 2010, 11:21 AM EDT

Image (1) nba_g_dampier_268-thumb-250x363-21300.jpg for post 6324

The Erick Dampier free agency experiment really has defied easy explanation.

He was bought out by the Charlotte Bobcats back well before the season to save cash, that was a given. Then we expected he would latch on pretty quickly somewhere — he’s a serviceable backup big man who would play for near the minimum, and a lot of teams could use on of those. He met and flirted with teams throughout training camp, a veteran taking his time to avoid some two-a-days before picking a team and jumping in.

That team was Houston, according to his agent just as the season had started. Except that never happened. The official line is the Rockets had to cut a player from their roster to make room for Dampier but they couldn’t find a trade partner. But as much as the Rockets need depth at center, something else is going on here.

Now a few teams that could use a big man — Miami, Phoenix and Toronto — have reopened talks, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.

Miami was reportedly where Dampier wanted to go before, but after some initial talks Pat Riley backed away saying the Heat could make do with the guys on the roster (Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Jamaal Maglorie). Kind of like the Rockets just did, which brings up the “why?” question.

However, that whole “go with the guys on the roster” thing hasn’t worked out so well, so Miami is back and talking to Dampier, who is a more complete package than any of their existing bigs not named Bosh. However, Miami would be in the same situation as Houston in needing to make a trade or buy out a guaranteed deal of someone to create a roster spot.

Both Phoenix and Toronto makes sense in that both have had subpar play out of the center position so far this season.

  1. hnirobert3 - Nov 11, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    Cut Magloire and get this guy. He’s automatically your best center (by default, because of Z’s weak knees) and your starter. Joel Anthony’s not bad, but undersized (he also has frying pans for hands). They could go small and bring him in during sub situations, but he cannot hang with or do anything when the Heat play teams with legit bigs like the Celts and Lakers.

  2. thestudiokida - Nov 11, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    Z is a good backup but YES PLEASE SIGN DAMPIER, Miami. Your perimeter defense is dominant but that interior has serious issues.

  3. eazye76 - Nov 11, 2010 at 7:08 PM

    Pat Riley and co. know a lot more about personnel than I do but they are crazy if they don’t do a deal with Dampier. He might not be the the second coming of Bill Russell but he is legit and he is their last/only chance at a decent big man, and they badly need quality size if they want to compete with the West.

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