After hearing reports all week that Erick Dampier joining the Heat was definitely going to happen, it seems that Pat Riley has decided he's gonna roll with the roster he already has. I'll admit that I was pretty surprised earlier today when I heard that Miami passed on signing Dampier, making it seem as though the center had already decided he wanted to join the Heat but Riley said ‘nah' and sent him back to Houston.
It sucks for Dampier who already had purchased a South Florida condo, but hey...this is a great vacation spot. On the bright side for Erick, he's very likely going to make more money elsewhere then he would have made with the Heat. Still though, considering how long he's been in his league I'm sure he's got a decent amount of money saved up. Probably why he was ready to pass up the bigger contract in order to play for a championship with Miami.
For those of you who are happy with the Heat roster the way it is now, this is good news. I'm really anxious to see what Joel Anthony can do with a starters minutes and all the talent around him. I think he's going to be just fine and fill the spot well.
This is also good news for Zydrunas Ilgauskas. He came to Miami to play his 15-20 minutes a game and a Dampier signing would've put that in question. Now the Heat can head into training camp with the guys that have been preparing at the AAA for the past few weeks, and without another guaranteed contract this will leave that 15th roster spot open for a Da'Sean Butler, Pat Beverly or Kenny Hasbrouck.
Remember kids, training camp starts in just 3 days as the Heat will head north to Elgin Air Force Base in Fort Walton, FL. For those of you wondering, it's about a 10-hour drive from Miami. The Heat will be back in South Florida on October 4th, in time for the preseason game against the Detroit Pistons on the 5th.