You 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.
Philadelphia had its chance. It got the ball with 27.5 seconds left in a tie game in Atlanta, a chance for Jimmy Butler to ice another game and… nothing. The Sixers had a shot clock violation after a scrambled play (watch the video above).
That left 3.5 seconds for Trae Young, and that’s all the time he needed.
Young’s floater has improved over the course of the season, and he was quick enough to get in a position where Butler could not block his shot. And he drained it.
The combination of a Sixers team that looked flat coming off their win over the Celtics, combined with Young’s energy was too much. Atlanta has played better since the All-Star break and teams sleep on them at their own peril.
Boban Marjanovic was 0-of-6 from three in his career before Saturday night. Then this happened.
Boban is just fun. Basketball should be fun.
I don’t know what’s going to happen with his free agency this summer, but you can bet the fans in Philly want him to stick around.
Lonzo Ball has played in just 99 games through his first two NBA seasons, 60 percent of the possible games. His rookie season, it was shoulder and knee issues that sidelined him for 30 games.
This past season, he went down on Jan. 19 with a sprained ankle against the Rockets, a severe one that also had a bone bruise, which slowed the healing. Ball has been shut down for the season because of it.
The Lakers are concerned that his Big Baller Brand shoes may have contributed to the ankle issues, something Ball confirmed the Lakers talked to him about in an ESPN story by Ramona Shelburne and Paula Lavigne.
[The January injury] marked his third separate ankle injury, which left the Lakers searching for what could be the root issue of his troubles — including asking about his Big Baller Brand shoes.
“Yeah, they talked to me,” Lonzo Ball told ESPN two weeks ago. “They asked me about it, and I told ’em, ‘I feel comfortable. If I wasn’t comfortable, I wouldn’t play in ’em. If I didn’t play in [his signature BBB shoes], I’d play in Kobe [Bryant’s signature Nike shoe]. I work out in [LeBron James’ signature Nike shoe], but that’s because they’re heavier.”
Lonzo also said he told the Lakers he was open to making adjustments — “just minor things,” he said — to his Big Baller Brand shoes if needed.
There are trainers around the league who believe a lot of foot and ankle issues in the NBA are about poorly designed or ill-fitting shoes (that can include major, trusted brands, but the player wears something that does not fit his needs).
Whether the ZO2 is part of the problem or not is impossible to say from the outside.
However, Ball recently severed some ties with the Big Baller Brand over the business manager’s handling of his money. Ball also deleted pictures of himself wearing Big Baller Brand gear from his Instagram. What does that mean? We’re not going to speculate here, but take your own best guess.
Malcolm Brogdon is out for the remainder of the regular season, likely the first round of the playoffs, and maybe longer with a plantar fascia tear. Nikola Mirotic is out likely through the end of the regular season (and maybe a little longer) with a thumb fracture. The injury bug that the Bucks avoided much of the season is catching up with them.
And Pau Gasol can now be added to the list, according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews.
Gasol is going to play a limited role for Milwaukee, but his depth along the front line would have been helpful as the Bucks try to rest guys and get right for the postseason.
If these injuries — particularly Brogdon, who is an important glue piece for them — lingers into the second round of the playoffs for Milwaukee, it could mean an earlier end to the season than they hoped.