HoopsHype Erick Dampier rumors

March 6, 2011 Updates
January 1, 2011 Updates

The NBA's first key date of 2011, when it comes to player movement, comes Wednesday. That's when teams are allowed to start signing free agents to 10-day contracts ... and when players with contracts that aren't fully guaranteed must be released in time to clear waivers by Jan. 7. Jan. 7, you see, is the NBA's final business day before Jan. 10. And that's the date contracts for any player on an NBA roster become guaranteed for the rest of the season. So ... There are 38 players, by our count, who either must be waived by Wednesday or will know they'll be receiving their 2010-11 salaries in full. (And there are a few names on the following list -- such as Boston's Delonte West, Golden State's Reggie Williams, Miami's Erick Dampier and Milwaukee's Luc Richard Mbah a Moute -- who obviously have nothing to sweat.) ESPN.com

December 30, 2010 Updates

Heat center Erick Dampier said he changed his mind about joining the Rockets just before signing the contract, citing uncertainty with his role and the potential to eventually join the Heat. The feeling was mutual, with the Rockets backing off when Dampier's physical made them question giving him a two-year deal worth roughly $4 million. Weeks later, Dampier signed a one-year contract with the Heat. "I thought I was going to be here, but things just didn't work out," Dampier said. "They didn't really know what was going to happen with Yao (Ming) and were not sure about the minutes at the five position. "We have an opportunity to do something special. We have three of the best guys at their position. We have a chance to win a championship. I think this was a better place for me." Houston Chronicle

December 9, 2010 Updates

Although Dampier signed just a one-year, minimum deal and is showing some age, he hardly believes this season might be it for him. "I can play another two or three years, if my body holds up.'' Dampier said. "We'll see how it goes.'' FanHouse.com

December 8, 2010 Updates

Erick Dampier, in just his second week with the Heat, got the closing minutes in Milwaukee. But Zydrunas Ilgauskas, in a shooting slump, is still likely to start at center Wednesday in Utah. “You can see, he’s not playing instinctually yet,” coach Erik Spoelstra said of Dampier. “He’s looking over to the bench, to see what our calls are, our defensive assignments. As he gets more comfortable, his role might grow.” Dampier acknowledged that he’s still learning the plays, but that’s “getting there” and “obviously, I’m a lot better than I was two weeks ago.” “When in doubt, when you can’t remember, just pick-and-roll with somebody,” Dampier said. “You can’t go wrong with a pick-and-roll.” Palm Beach Post

Brian T. Smith: Heat's Spoelstra also said that Miami's perceived lack of height and size is a misconception. Said adding Dampier was a major addition. Twitter

November 27, 2010 Updates
November 24, 2010 Updates

I spoke with several teams who took a long look at signing Dampier and they believe that his knees won't hold up much longer -- not if he's playing significant minutes. I think the Heat need to get younger and more athletic. All of the aging veterans bring experience, but they also serve to slow the team down and I think the Heat are at their best when they are out in transition. ESPN.com

November 23, 2010 Updates

Heat forward Udonis Haslem may miss the remainder of the regular season after having surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left foot, and free agent Erick Dampier has been signed to help fill the void that creates. Haslem had surgery Tuesday, the same day Dampier took a physical with the Heat -- the last hurdle before a contract could be signed. Dampier practiced with the Heat that afternoon. ESPN.com

Erick Dampier has a one-year offer from the Miami Heat and is expected to sign it Tuesday, CBSSports.com has learned. The 35-year-old center arrived in Miami Monday night and, pending his passing of a medical exam, will join the team to replace Udonis Haslem, who is out until at least February with a torn ligament in his foot. The deal is for one year at the prorated veteran's minimum, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. CBSSports.com

Yet he also acknowledged that the team could explore outside options. A source confirmed ESPN's report of continued Heat interest in 35-year-old center Erick Dampier. A Miami resident who started against the Heat in the 2006 NBA Finals, Dampier worked out for the Heat before the season, then nearly signed with Houston. If the Heat adds Dampier, it would need to release someone to get back to the 15-man limit, unless it receives an injury exemption from the NBA. To receive that exemption, an independent league doctor would need to determine that Haslem's injury makes him likely to miss the remainder of the 2010-11 season, including the playoffs. If so, the Heat would be granted a 16th roster slot, at a salary not to exceed half of Haslem's $3.5 million pay for this season. It would have 45 days to use the exemption. Palm Beach Post

There's a precedent. In 2000-01, the Heat received an exemption following Alonzo Mourning's diagnosis of kidney disease. It used that exemption on Cedric Ceballos. Mourning came back to play the last 13 regular-season games, and started all three games of Charlotte's first-round sweep. Without such an exemption, the most likely candidates to be cut would be Magloire or guard Jerry Stackhouse. While rookie center Dexter Pittman is eligible to be sent to the team's National Basketball Developmental League affiliate in Sioux Falls, he would still count against the team's roster limit. Palm Beach Post

November 22, 2010 Updates

The Heat have been in contact with representatives for veteran center Erick Dampier, whom they declined to offer a contract following a workout last month. Dampier appeared headed for the Rockets, but the deal fell apart when Houston had difficulty creating a roster spot for him, according to an NBA front office source. The Suns and Trail Blazers also have inquired about Dampier, who would be an ideal fit because he's a natural center. If Dampier is in good enough condition to absorb substantial minutes, that would limit the exposure of Chris Bosh and Joel Anthony at the five position -- a spot neither is ideally suited to play. CBSSports.com

Even before losing Haslem, sources said, Miami had been reconsidering its October decision to pass on signing free-agent center Erick Dampier. The Heat talked to Dampier during training camp and worked him out before electing not to sign him, but the 35-year-old is still available after an expected deal with the Houston Rockets fell through. A source with knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com that the Heat have maintained a level of contract with Dampier since the collapse of the Houston talks. ESPN.com

Haslem's injury could force Miami to take another look at Erick Dampier. NBA source says Dampier still very interested in Miami. Twitter

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