NBA / Sep 27, 2010 / 11:00 am

NBA Rumor: Bucks, Blazers, Raptors & Rockets Battle Over Free Agent Center

Erick Dampier

Erick Dampier

When you look at just his career numbers – 7.8 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game – Erick Dampier‘s 14-year NBA career doesn’t look all that great. But when you peek at the list of available free agents as training camps begin, there are no other decent almost 7-foot centers out there. That’s why after talks with the Heat fell through, more than a few teams have being blowing up Damp’s cell.

“I’ve talked to Milwaukee, Toronto, Portland, and one other team,” he said after confirming talks with the Rockets as well. “There’s no one in the No. 1 spot. I’m not in a rush. I just want to find the perfect fit and give myself an opportunity to compete for a championship.”

With that said, clearly there’s a dichotomy here if pursuing a title is really atop his list. With Yao Ming back in the saddle, there’s been whispers that the Rockets are going to be a top-4 team out West, and adding the security of Dampier down low could only help them. After that it would be Blazers, Bucks and Raptors in that order.

Dampier would love to make more than the veteran’s minimum of $1.4 million, but would have to play for a worse team in order to do so. There’s also the scenario where he could wait to sign with a team and see who’s hot or who’s in need of his services later in the season. Much like P.J. Brown signing with the Celtics after All-Star Weekend in 2008, Dampier’s best chance to chase a ring would come that way.

“There’s different scenarios, different teams every day,” he said. “There’s no timeline. As of a couple days ago, a couple other teams had reached out and are wanting to talk to me, so we’ll probably go do interviews and sometime after that make a decision.”

What do you think? If you were Dampier, where would you sign?

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  • derik

    I would go with the money, screw championship, it’s not like it will increases Dampier’s chance to get in the HOF, with not much years left, earn more and enjoy the good life afterward.

  • skittler

    Dampier wants the thrill of a championship run and I can dig that. Go for the ring, big fella!!!!!

  • top_gun

    His career is pretty much a joke. If he signs with a contender, he can atleast help them win a championship and have a ring to show for to his kids, instead of his stats or highlights.

  • marcus the great


    any details on exactly what happened in Miami? I figured after damp became available him goin to Miami was a no brainer for both sides. especially after he listed the heat as a destination like every other free agent. I’m curious to know what made it fall thru

  • JAX

    He should wait till after the all star break to sign, that would give him ample time to work on “catching” with his hands, and not his stomach and chest. Also finishing dunks/lay ins would be a plus for his as well. Quite possibly by the playoffs he could put it all together.

  • jzsmoove

    Please not Toronto, memories of hakeem whiffs through my mind.