The Hawks will soon learn if their overtures to free-agent center Erick Dampier worked. His agent, Dan Fegan, told FOX Houston that Dampier “plans to make his decision by Thursday.” The Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, and Miami Heat are the other teams Dampier is considering, according to the report.
A fourteen-year veteran, Dampier became a free agent last week when the Charlotte Bobcats waived him, thus removing his nearly fully unguaranteed, $14 million salary from their cap. He is now free to choose a new team.
Atlanta could certainly use Dampier’s size and skill up front. Though strictly a finisher and garbageman on offense, Dampier is gifted defensively, averaging at least one blocked shot per game in each of his last ten seasons, and at least seven rebounds per game in each of his last seven seasons. The Hawks are indeed aware of the value a sound, defensive-oriented center can provide, as the Orlando Magic swept them out of last year’s playoffs partially due to their inability to contain Dwight Howard inside.