SAN ANTONIO - APRIL 29: Forward Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs slams the ball against Erick Dampier #25 of the Dallas Mavericks in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 29, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
4 Total Updates since September 15, 2010
over 2 years ago Update 2 comments
The Phoenix Suns have made it quite clear that they are interested in the services of veteran center Erick Dampier. Dampier's agent Dan Fegan has now given us a clear indication that the feeling is mutual. Fegan told the Arizona Republic that the 14-year pro is considering the Suns and names Phoenix as one of the "top teams" on his list. A decision is expected in time for Dampier to be on a team's opening-night roster, which gets set on Monday.
A large part of Dampier's decision probably revolves around his potential playing time with each of the teams he's targeting. In Phoenix, he could join the Suns' second unit which both fills a desperate need for rebounding, but also creates yet another log-jam issue for coach Gentry who is already trying to juggle too few minutes for too many players.
Watching the current group of Frye, Warrick, Childress, Dudley and Dragic play against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, it became very apparent that unit would struggle on the glass this season. The Warriors bench out-rebounded the Suns 32-25 while the entire Suns team was only minus four in that category for the game. Dampier would certainly help keep opposing big men off the boards.
Dampier would also take minutes from somebody in the current 10-man rotation and give an already deep team an even greater challenge when it comes to keeping guys happy by getting them enough playing time. Dampier, never known for his ability to run the floor, would also slow the dynamic bench unit who has shown glimpses of how they can out-work opponents.
The easy answer is to only play Dampier in certain situations where opponents have a significant size advantage and as a back up to Robin Lopez should he go down with injury, but that would also limit his ability to contribute on a regular basis. I am sure Dampier is carefully considering all of these factors in making his decision, along with the conditioning requirements of an up-tempo Suns team.
The Suns currently have 14 players on their roster after cutting Dwayne Jones and Zabian Dowdell on Tuesday. That means that they have room for Dampier without having to waive anyone. Of course, the Suns could decide that young center Garret Siler is expendable.
With the new D-league rules in place, Siler would be assigned to the Phoenix Suns affiliate, Iowa Energy. That assumes, however, that Siler agrees to play another year in the D-league and doesn't take a better paying contract overseas. Even if Siler goes to the Energy, his rights wouldn't be held by Phoenix, so he could get signed by another NBA team.
[Note by Seth Pollack, 10/21/10 12:00 PM MST ]
To update on the D-league status of Siler, Jones, and Dowdell: All would return to their previous D-league teams (Utah, Tulsa, and Austin) because they played for those teams before. If the Suns were to cut Matt Janning, who has never played in the D-league, he would go to the Iowa Energy. The Suns wouldn't hold the rights to any of those guys if they got waived regardless of where they play in the D-league.
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
The Suns are obviously still concerned about the lack of size and rebounding behind Robin Lopez and could use Dampier as insurance if Lopez went down with another injury.
It is possible the Suns could even play Dampier and Lopez together at times against certain teams. Robin played power forward in college and is quick enough to defend some power forwards and has improved his mid-range game to allow him to space the floor at least to some degree.
Dampier is also reportedly meeting with the Chicago Bulls this week.
over 2 years ago Update 1 comment
It's been awhile since we heard anything about Erick Dampier and for awhile it looked like he was going to Miami or Houston, but now Marc Stein from ESPN reports that the Phoenix Suns are still very much in the running.
Dampier will reportedly meet with the Chicago Bulls this week and also will be speaking to the Suns.
Dampier would make a solid option as a back up center and provide more size and rebounding to the Suns bench.
over 2 years ago Update 20 comments
Sure, he's the guy that the old run-and-gun Suns would run right off the court and force the Mavs to play Dirk at the five. In other years, he was the guy that Shaq called "Ericka" and would love to power through. And most recently he was known as one of the most grossly over paid players in the league thanks to a 7-year, $73 million contract that the Mavericks owner Mark Cuban paid out.
Now, the 34-year-old center is a free agent and the Phoenix Suns are rumored to be interested in him along with several other teams.
Twitter / Chris Mannix: SI Sources: Houston, Miami ...
SI Sources: Houston, Miami, Phoenix and Toronto interested in free agent center Erick Dampier
I've never been a Dampier fan but that was in large part due to his over-blown salary.
As a big man backing up Robin Lopez he could provide both depth to a guy who's had two major injuries already in his two-year career and also provide a veteran big body to bang against in practice.
Watching Robin run the floor and match-up with the likes of Dwayne Jones and Gani Lawal, it's pretty clear that the size differential is leaving young Lopez without the kind of fellow big man he needs to prepare for games against Andrew Bynum and Greg Oden.
Dampier is a lot of things, slow being one of them, but he's got a lot of experience and he's got one thing the Suns coaching staff can't teach - size.
I say if the price is right, go for it.