MAVERICKS | DEAL WITH GOLDEN STATE
Dampier trade gives
Mavs talent at center
Today, the Mavericks can officially call Erick Dampier one of
In a sign-and-trade deal that involves seven players and a pair
of draft picks, the Mavericks have agreed to ship popular forward
Eduardo Najera, forward Christian Laettner, rookie guard Luis
Flores, forward Mladen Sekularac and two first-round picks to the
Golden State Warriors for Dampier, center Evan Eschmeyer and guard
Dan Dickau. Donnie Nelson, Mavericks president of basketball
operations, said the deal will be finalized today.
The key to the trade is Dampier, a 30-year-old, 6-foot-11,
265-pound center who should provide immediate help for the
Mavericks. Last year, he averaged 12.3 points, was fourth in the NBA
in rebounds (12 per game), third in field-goal shooting (.535
percent), first in offensive rebounds (4.6) and 15th in blocks
"He's one of the top centers in the West," said Nelson, who is in
Athens for the Olympic Games. "He's a guy that can block shots and
hold down the middle defensively."
The deal, in principle, was announced last week. But since the
Mavs acquired Laettner on June 24 from the Washington Wizards, he
couldn't be traded for 60 days under terms of the
Dickau's availability also came into question since the Warriors
obtained him July 20 in a trade from Portland. But Nelson said the
Mavs won't have to wait 60 days before they can acquire Dickau since
they plan on using their trade exception -- Dickau will make
$893,000 next season.
Also, Sekularac and Flores have been added to the trade.
The Mavs drafted Sekularac in the second round (55th overall) of
the 2002 NBA Draft, and the 6-8 forward played on their summer
league team that year. He chose to continue his basketball career in
his native Yugoslavia.
Flores wasn't a member of the Mavericks very long. The 6-2 guard
from Manhattan was drafted June 24 by the Houston Rockets, and his
draft rights were traded to the Mavs later that day.
Laettner, 35, is in the final year of a contract that will pay
him $6.187 million next season.
After a summer that linked the Mavericks to trades involving
Shaquille O'Neal, Tracy McGrady, Jason Kidd and Vince Carter, Nelson
is glad the team was able to land a center of Dampier's caliber.
"He's a terrific kid," Nelson said. "He's gotten better every
year that he's been in the league."
IN THE KNOW
How the Mavericks spent their
June 24: Trade F Antawn Jamison and cash to Washington for G
Jerry Stackhouse, F Christian Laettner and draft rights to G Devin
July 1: G Steve Nash accepts six-year, $66 million free-agent
offer from Phoenix.
July 14: Sign restricted free agent G Marquis Daniels to
five-year, $29.4 million contract.
July 14: Sign free agent C Didier Ilunga-Mbenga.
July 26: Trade F Danny Fortson to Seattle for C Calvin Booth.
July 29: Sign rookie C Pavel Podkolzin.
Aug. 4: Trade F Antoine Walker and G Tony Delk to Atlanta for G
Jason Terry, F Alan Henderson and a first-round draft pick.
Today: Trade F Eduardo Najera, F Christian Laettner, G Luis
Flores, F Mladen Sekularac and two first-round draft picks to Golden
State for C Erick Dampier, C Evan Eschmeyer and G Dan Dickau.