If there is one sure thing left this summer besides washed up players begging for a comeback with the Heat, it is that Erick Dampier’s contract will be terminated.
He is due $13 million next season, and the fact that it was a non-guaranteed deal made him a trading chip this summer. Dallas cashed in that chip for Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca (certainly less than they hoped to get). Charlotte does not want to venture into luxury tax range, so they will wipe out Dampiers’s deal.
“I would obviously give Charlotte the first opportunity and see what they say, see if they’re interested in me or not,” Dampier said. “Then we’ll go from there. If they’re not interested in me I’m sure there are other teams out there that could possibly be interested.”
In a summer when teams are looking for a big body to put in the middle, Dampier is that. He is 6’11”, 265 and when healthy last season he gave the Mavericks 6 points and 7 rebounds a game in 22 minutes. He can give a team some solid minutes in the paint. Not spectacular, but solid.
Charlotte could use that, after trading away Chandler. Just a big body off the bench. It’s going to come down to money. It won’t be $13 million, but he will have a contract for next season.
Gordon Hayward dunks on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thon Maker (videos)
The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.
Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….
Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.
Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.
Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.
There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.
Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)
The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.
The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.