Erick Dampier’s “instantly” expiring contract was supposedly one of the off-season’s biggest trade chips, yet the Mavs were only able to get Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca in return. That’s not quite in line with Dallas’ lofty summer goals; Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban were shooting for a sign-and-trade with the biggest free agents, and were also connected to the Timberwolves in a possible trade for Al Jefferson. All of those potential moves fell through, and with only a few options left on the table, Dallas opted to grab a back-up center for next season. Not a bad move, just not a particularly good one in light of what could have been.
Dampier is now a Charlotte Bobcats…for the moment. The Bobcats will either waive Damp, making him an unrestricted free agent and wiping his salary off their books, or try to flip him for more value. However, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer found out, such a trade would be a bit more difficult than the one the Mavs just pulled off:
Since these [trade] rules can get complex, I emailed the league, and here’s what I was told:
Dampier’s contract CAN be traded right now, but couldn’t be
aggregated with another salary to make a deal work until 60 days after
being acquired by the Bobcats. In other words, if the Bobcats needed to
move about $17 million to make a trade work, they couldn’t combine
Dampier’s salary with Matt Carroll’s ($4.3 million) to approximate that
number until mid-September.
Without the ability to combine Dampier’s salary with another player’s salary for trade purposes, Charlotte’s options will be limited. Still, at this point they’re just looking for any value. As long as trading Dampier doesn’t come with long-term financial burden (which it likely would; What other incentive would a team have to trade for him? Especially considering he’s going to be made a free agent and will sign for far, far less than $13 million?), acquiring something is better than nothing.