Center Erick Dampier to back up Yao Ming in Houston

Hoopsworld, CBS and numerous sources reported earlier today that Erick Dampier will sign with the Rockets.  This is bad news for the Bucks and GM John Hammond, who had been courting the  6’11”, 35-year-old Dampier to come to the Bucks, badly in need of a back-up for Andrew Bogut.

Early foul trouble for Bogut in Minnesota Friday opened up the glass for the T-wolves, who embarrassed fill-ins Drew Gooden, Jon Brockman and rookie Larry Sanders on their way to a 62-39 rebounding advantage.  The T-wolves pounded the Bucks for 19 offensive boards and 24 second chance points on their way to a 96-85 victory.

That sort of thing doesn’t happen when you have a veteran presence like Dampier taking up 270-pounds of space in the paint.  The timing of Dampier’s decision couldn’t be worse. He might as well have lit a dozen flares around the Bucks’ most glaring need.

Dampier spent the last six seasons in Dallas, where he blocked over 450 shots and averaged more than 7.5 rebounds per game despite playing less than half time in 356 games.  His six-year, $60 million contract expired at the end of last season.  The Bucks, the Rockets, Portland, Toronto and Phoenix were reportedly bidding for his services.

A sign and trade deal is probably out of the question.

2 thoughts on “Center Erick Dampier to back up Yao Ming in Houston

  1. J.D. Mo. Post author

    Reportedly, the opportunity for more PT playing with Yao was a big part of why Dampier chose Houston. Yao is medically limited to 24 mins per game and has to sit out back-to-backs.

    2) Houston is also closer to home (Dallas area).

    3) Houston offered him more money – $2 million. The Bucks? Hammond signed Drew Gooden to a 5-year, $32 million deal and so far it looks like a mistake. The Bucks will pay Gooden $5.765 million this year.

  2. Kevin

    Since Houston already has Brad Miller, I wonder if Erik figured there is a better chance of Yao going down to injury than Bogut., therefore he would fill a bigger need. But he definitely would have had a more defined role in Milwaukee.
    Atlanta has three backup centers: Zaza, Jason Collins and Etan Thomas. Zaza would demand Luc, Ersan or Carlos in a deal, but we could possibly get Collins for Brockman.

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