Needing Size, Miami Heat Signs Free-Agent Center Erick Dampier

The Miami Heat passed on signing Erick Dampier once already, but that was before they limped to an 8-6 start and saw their top interior defender, Udonis Haslem, go down with a potential season-ending foot injury. Now, they need him more than ever. Luckily, Dampier was still sitting around, and has decided to sign on.

Ken Berger of CBS Sportsline is reporting that Dampier has decided to accept the Heat's one-year minimum-contract offer. Dampier has played the last six seasons in Dallas, where he was a sometimes-starter on teams that went deep into the playoffs. He was traded to the Bobcats this summer for Tyson Chandler and was subsequently waived because he had a fully unguaranteed contract. The Hornets, Rockets and Suns were among the teams interested in Dampier, but he held out and finally got a chance to join the Heat.

To make room for Dampier, the Heat surprisingly decided to waive veteran guard Jerry Stackhouse instead of either Jammal Magloire or Dexter Pittman, two spare big men. However, as Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel notes, Stackhouse has a fully non-guaranteed contract. The Heat would have had to eat the salaries of Magloire or Pittman if they cut them instead. 

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