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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