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Aldridge: Dampier to sign one-year deal with Heat

By David Aldridge, TNT Anaylst
Posted Nov 22 2010 10:26PM

A struggling Miami Heat team will look to shore up the loss of center Udonis Haslem by signing veteran center Erick Dampier on Tuesday to a one-year contract, a league source confirmed Monday night.

The 35-year-old Dampier was in Miami Monday and will sign Tuesday assuming there are no problems with his physical.

Sources had said earlier this month that Dampier had agreed to a one-year deal with the Rockets for the bi-annual cap exception of $2.08 million, but the deal fell apart. League sources maintain that Dampier preferred signing with the Heat or another title contender and wanted to wait and see if a need developed. It did in Miami when Haslem tore a ligament in his left foot during Saturday's loss in Memphis to the Grizzlies.

Haslem is expected to miss several months after having surgery on Tuesday. Miami only has one seven-footer on its roster in veteran center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and has been hurt on the interior during the first month of the season.

Dampier was waived by Charlotte in September after the Bobcats were unable to find a team willing to take on the final year of his $13 million contract. But the deal was not guaranteed, so Charlotte didn't spend any actual money, and got below the expected luxury tax threshold by getting the contract off its books. The Bobcats had acquired Dampier from Dallas earlier in the summer in a trade that sent center Tyson Chandler to the Mavericks.

CBSsports.com first reported that Dampier had agreed to a contract with Miami.

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