Report: Heat No Longer Pursuing Center Erick Dampier


September 25, 2010

Everybody knows what the Miami Heat's weaknesses are — center and point guard — and they've decided to forgo a major opportunity to do something about the former issue.

Directly after starting the "Three Kings Era" in South Beach, it seemed almost impossible to believe that Pat Riley could assemble any sort of supporting cast to place around the nucleus of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, but Riley ultimately did rather well — bringing in a haul of veterans including snipers Mike Miller and Eddie House and big man Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

Even so, the team never quite firmed up either their one or their five spots.

At the center position, the team now features Ilgauskas, big-bodied second-round pick Dexter Pittman and journeymen Jamaal Magloire and Joel Anthony, and with that rotation, the heat have decided to stand pat, the Miami Herald reports.

The Heat had been pursuing 14-year veteran Erick Dampier, who was released by Charlotte this past week, but they have ultimately decided to give up that endeavor. Dampier's best year came in 2003-04 when he averaged 12 points and 12 rebounds per game — numbers which earned him a famously lucrative payday with the Dallas Mavericks — but he has been a consistent starter throughout his career. The combination of Dampier, a center who plays close to the basket and rebounds well, and Ilgauskas, a stretch center who likes to face up for jump shots, would have given the team versatility and two legitimate options at the position.

Miami was only considering offering Dampier the veteran minimum of $1.4 million, a number trumped by the Houston Rockets' bid.

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