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blanket
08-26-2004, 11:15 AM
I didn't see this posted already...


Pacers ready to stand with front-line hand

By Mark Montieth
mark.montieth@indystar.com
August 26, 2004

With Erick Dampier's trade to Dallas becoming official Wednesday, the Indiana Pacers have one less option for improving their front line.

That inspires no hand-wringing in the executive offices at Conseco Fieldhouse, however, since landing Dampier appeared to be a faint hope all along.

"It was just something we worked on to see if it could work out and it didn't," Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh said. "So we moved on. We were fortunate a kid like David Harrison fell to 29 (in the June draft)."

The Pacers have three centers on their 14-man roster, excluding Jermaine O'Neal, who often slides into the position. Returning starter Jeff Foster is joined by Scot Pollard and Harrison.

Dampier ranked as a wish-list acquisition for a team thought by many observers -- and O'Neal -- to be one big body away from contending for a championship. But the Pacers were unable to work a trade for him and they didn't have the financial options available to sign him as a free agent.

Dampier, 6-11 and 265 pounds, averaged 12.3 points and 12 rebounds for Golden State last season. He opted out of a contract that would have paid him $17 million over the next two seasons and will receive a seven-year, $63 million contract from the Mavericks.

Warriors general manager Chris Mullin, who as a player was traded to the Pacers for Dampier on Aug. 12, 1997, accepted this deal rather than one of the several others that were proposed because he didn't have to take on major long-term financial commitments and received draft picks.

Dampier's business manager, Ed Jones, said Dampier had hoped the Pacers could find a way to acquire him and might have accepted the mid-level exception of about $5 million to play for them if Dallas had not worked out a trade.

"He and Jermaine had talked, and Jermaine had sold him on the idea Indiana would be a good place for him," Jones said. "He really liked Indiana when he was up there for one year (1996-97)."

Dampier's age has been established at 29, rather than 30 as listed in official NBA publications.

Walsh said the Pacers remain open to the possibility of a transaction before training camp opens on Oct. 5 but aren't committed to more moves.

"We're ready to go into camp the way we are," he said. "If something pops up we'll look at it. We've had enough background in talking about deals this summer that we know the ones that could still be alive."

Pollard hopeful

Shortly after the season ended, Pacers president Larry Bird acknowledged Pollard was a poor fit for the team and held out the possibility of trading him.

Pollard, acquired in a trade that sent Brad Miller to Sacramento last year, averaged 1.7 points in 61 regular-season games.

If no deal occurs, Pollard can only hope something happens to alter his role with the team.

"I love living there," he told the Sacramento Bee over the weekend while appearing at a charity golf outing near Sacramento. "I didn't think I'd like it and I don't like when it gets cold, but it's a great city. Now if I can just play."

Cell phones banned

The NBA's media relations directors have agreed to ban cell phones in the locker room next season. Not for players, but reporters.

The primary concern is that the newer models, which include cameras, could be used to send inappropriate photographs over the Internet.

Hicks
08-26-2004, 11:22 AM
Dampier's business manager, Ed Jones, said Dampier had hoped the Pacers could find a way to acquire him and might have accepted the mid-level exception of about $5 million to play for them if Dallas had not worked out a trade.

"He and Jermaine had talked, and Jermaine had sold him on the idea Indiana would be a good place for him," Jones said. "He really liked Indiana when he was up there for one year (1996-97)."

D'oh!

ROCislandWarrior
08-26-2004, 12:55 PM
I still can't believe it...7 years/70 Mil:o

Dallas simply bought the pot