Today's Erick Dampier update: Heat, Rockets and Hawks (yes, it's the slow time of year)


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for dampier_layup.jpgYou now it is the slowest time of year when we have daily updates on Erick Dampier. Nonetheless, here we go:

Dampier is finalizing his list for meetings and it is expected to include the Miami Heat, Houston Rockets and — the newcomer to the party — the Atlanta Hawks, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

Dampier gave the Mavericks 6 and 7 last season in 23 minutes a game, and this season should be playing at or near the league minimum. Not usually the kind of guy who draws this kind of interest, but Damps would really help the three teams above.

Miami has about 48 guys coming to camp who can play center, but they don’t have the kind of classic big man they want to match up with Dwight Howard and the O’Neals in Boston. Dampier would give the Heat even more versatility and options.

The Rockets are trying to keep Yao Ming’s minutes down — capped at 24 a game to start the season — in an effort to keep him healthy. That means they could use another big man, and Dampier and Brad Miller could fill that role together. Also, the Rockets can offer more money than the Heat, by about $600,000 a season.

The Hawks got pushed around by Howard in the playoffs and finding a big man to help remedy that was one of the offseason goals. Damps is no Howard, but it would allow Al Horford to play some four, which is a good idea.

Dampier has not set a timetable for his decision, but smart money says it should come next week so everything is set before camps open at the end of the month.

Dampier is available because he was waived by the Bobcats this week, saving them his $13 million contract.

As expected, Jimmy Butler says no issue between him, Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler
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Is the Derrick Rose/Jimmy Butler relationship nothing but puppy dogs and rainbows? No. There will be sparks between two intense competitors.

Have those sparks started a fire Bulls fans should be concerned about? A report on Wednesday said the core problem was Butler doesn’t respect Rose’s work ethic, which provided some kindling for that spark to catch.

However, as you would expect, Butler said this was all much ado about nothing, that he and Rose are all good. Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

Spin this however you wish: Their relationship is fine and someone in the media is making this up; or their relationship has been rough, and this is all just leaking out now.

This is a Bulls team in a bit of a transition as Rose declines some and Butler has grown into a top-flight player. Clearly that dynamic has some people around the team — likely the people in one of one of the players’ camps doesn’t like the power struggle or where it leaves his buddy — talking out of school to the press.

But as Butler noted, winning cures all ills. If Chicago can get off to a fast start, nobody will be asking chemistry questions.

For now, however, tounges are wagging.

Report: No criminal charges to be filed against Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes
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The NBA is still investigating and can take its own action. In theory people involved in the incident could decide to file a civil lawsuit (although Fisher said he would not).

However, Memphis’ Matt Barnes is not going to face any criminal charges for an altercation he instigated with Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife in Los Angeles, according to police, who talked to TMZ.

Matt Barnes will NOT be charged with a crime for allegedly attacking Derek Fisher over the weekend … the Redondo Beach Police Department tells TMZ Sports.

Cops tell us they did respond to an incident and a police report was filed regarding the altercation — but officers say the case “was reviewed and there is no basis for criminal charges.” As we previously reported, a witness at the home says Barnes struck Fisher in the face and a fight ensued. However, the NY Post is reporting that Fisher did not want to pursue charges against Barnes.

Fisher has been seeing Gloria Govan — Barnes’ estranged wife and star of the “Basketball Wives” reality series — for several months, and was over at her house in the South Bay of Los Angeles Saturday night, along with other friends. Barnes said he got a call from one of his two sons, who “looked distressed” that Fisher was over, and that caused Barnes to drive over to the house. Once he arrived an altercation broke out between the two men, with Barnes allegedly texting a friend that he beat up Fisher and spat in his wife’s face. That’s not going to scar the young boy any further, well done.

If Barnes did this as described (and we don’t know the details), the NBA has to look hard at this. Barnes does not get to decide for a woman he is no longer seeing who she can and cannot see, and who she has over to her home. She is not property. That is the level of control seen in domestic abuse situations, and the league can’t sit back and tolerate it.