I apologize for starting another Dampier thread, but I think this is some new info and did not want to get it buried at the end of a long thread. Plus I could not decide which Dampier thread to post this on. So yell at me if you wish.
Of course the interesting part is where Dampier says he might sign a two year deal for the MLE.
From staff and news services
Thursday, July 22, 2004
Dampier tells TV Hawks 'option'
Golden State Warriors free agent center Erick Dampier hasn't made a decision regarding the Hawks' multiyear contract offer, which is believed to start at $8 million in the first year. But upon arriving home in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday night, he told ABC affiliate WAPT-TV he considers Atlanta "an option."
"Atlanta is close to home," Dampier told the station from the Jackson International Airport. "It's a team in a rebuilding process. Hopefully something can be worked out between me and Atlanta.
If not, I have to work something out, maybe sign for the mid-level [exception, which is valued around $5 million] for two years. Either way it goes, I don't think I can go wrong."
Dampier averaged career-highs with 12.3 points and 11.9 rebounds last season and opted out of a contract that would've paid him about $17 million over the next two seasons. He is the best center on the free agent market, but his options have diminished in recent days.
The New York Knicks tried to work out a sign-and-trade deal in which the Warriors would sign Dampier to a six-year deal starting at $9 million a year, then trade him to the Knicks for former Hawk Nazr Mohammed and Othella Harrington. But that deal fell through when the Warriors traded Nick Van Exel to Portland for Dale Davis and Dan Dickau.
"It hasn't really been a frustrating process," Dampier said of his summer. "It's up to me or whether the Warriors are willing to do a sign-and-trade. Even if they don't, I have other options."
The Memphis Grizzlies and Indiana Pacers are also interested in Dampier, but both teams are above the salary cap. They would have to acquire Dampier through a sign-and-trade or offer him the mid-level exception. The Hawks have about $12 million in cap room and can sign Dampier outright.