Want to add to the conspiracy theory, anyone?
If anyone could add a new, quality center to their roster right now it would be Pat Riley, the magician who has been pulling rabbits out of his hat all summer long as it is.
Here’s how… and we’ll start with the facts.
The Charlotte Bobcats signed Kwame Brown yesterday (they also have Nazr Mohammed and DeSagana Diop under contract). That seals the fate for Erick Dampier, the center the Bobcats traded for this summer, sending Tyson Chandler out. Dampier has a non-guaranteed $13 million contract and new owner Michael Jordan has said he will not venture into the luxury tax. Waive Dampier and they are under the tax. Deal done.
That will make Dampier a free agent, and, well, Ira Winderman draws out the rest in the Sun Sentinel.
Enter the Heat, a team that currently features Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Jamaal Magloire and Dexter Pittman at center.
Dampier arguably is better than all four…. he well could seek exception money or some left over cap space elsewhere, rather than the minimum that Ilgauskas and Magloire have accepted from the Heat.
But Pat Riley would have one bargaining chip that no other contender could offer:
“How would you like to be the starting center for a potential NBA championship team?”
It would be a one-year deal, after that the Heat could sign him again, under whatever terms the new collective bargaining agreement allows. But the Heat would have just upgraded their center position and brought in someone who can bang with Dwight Howard or the Boston front line.
The Heat would have gotten another great deal. Riley is a magician.