Either the Rockets or the Heat are about to get a nice boost to their title hopes. That or the Hawks or Nuggets will get a nice boost to their front lines.
Erick Dampier worked out for the Houston Rockets Monday and met with coach Rick Adelman, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Dampier will do the same things with the Miami Heat.
Dampier’s agent says it is down to four teams — Houston, Miami, Atlanta and Denver. He also told Michael Wallace of the Miami Herald that a decision would be made by Thursday.
The Rockets and Heat seem to make the most sense.
In Miami he likely would be the starting center on a team that just needs some consistent play in the middle to remove one of the few questions about it and its title chances. While Damps is not a dominant center, he is solid, and there would be depth behind him with Joel Anthony and Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
However, the Heat can only offer the minimum, $1.4 million.
Houston can offer more, about $2 million. Dampier would come off the bench behind Yao Ming, but with the Rockets trying to lessen Yao’s injury likelihood they are limiting his minutes — 24 a game and no back-to-backs. There are a lot of minutes to be had on a team many consider a dark horse threat in the West.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.
After a bumpy season where the he fought with Suns coaches, then a summer where he and his twin Marcus felt they were blindsided by a trade, Markieff Morris has been plenty vocal about his unhappiness in Phoenix. To the point it has cost him some serious cash.
So what should we expect from Markieff Morris’ upcoming season?
Relative calm, I tell Jenna Corrado of NBCSports in this latest edition of PBT Extra previewing the NBA season.
The reasons are twofold. First, he has to realize the Suns aren’t trading him anyway (especially not while he publicly demands a trade, lowering his trade value). Second, can you imagine how new locker room leader Tyson Chandler is going to react to that? Chandler was brought in to fill a leadership void in the locker room, and you can bet he will make his displeasure at such team-disrupting antics known.
Still not sure if that’s enough to get the Suns to the playoffs.