Report: Rockets Won't Sign Erick Dampier
Dampier had agreed to sign a one-year deal with the Houston Rockets, his agent told FanHouse back on Oct. 29. But the deal was contingent on the team being able to create a roster spot for him, as it already had 15 players in place. Jermaine Taylor was expected to be the odd man out, but according to a report from Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the team informed Taylor on Sunday that he wouldn't be going anywhere, because the Rockets no longer were planning on signing Dampier.
Houston is in need of a center to back up Yao Ming, who is limited medically to around 24 minutes per game, and is currently prohibited from appearing in games played on consecutive nights. Whether it was the Rockets' slow start (the team was 0-5 before finally getting in the win column by crushing the hopeless Timberwolves on Sunday), or something specifically with Dampier that caused the deal to fall through remains, to be seen.
Over his last three seasons, Dampier has been good for in the neighborhood of six points, seven rebounds, and a blocked shot per game in 23 minutes of action. Sure, that kind of production might help a contender here and there, but it's not likely to put anybody over the top and automatically into the NBA Finals.
By his estimation, Dampier has talked with between eight and ten teams about signing this season; he basically had an open invitation to play in Phoenix. The process began in training camp, and we're now a couple of weeks into the regular season, without a resolution. If Dampier is physically able to contribute this season, someone at some point will take a chance on him. But if he truly wanted to play, and truly had something left to contribute, something tells me he'd have signed by now.