Dallas trades Erick Dampier to Bobcats, gets Tyson Chandler in return
Dallas adds bulk in big man Chandler
DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks played their offseason trump card Tuesday, dealing Erick Dampier and his juicy contract.
All they got for it was a backup big man.
The Mavericks consider that oversimplification. To club president Donnie Nelson, the three-for-two deal with Charlotte that brought them Tyson Chandler fills a lot of needs without any drawbacks and, most of all, it bulks up their front line to better take on the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.
“This gives us a really nice, athletic punch,” Nelson said. “We have a formidable front line. This might not be a grand slam home run, but it’s pretty good for what we’ve got to go up against in the West.”
Mavs fans have been viewing Dampier’s contract like a winning lottery ticket ready to be cashed in because of its unique status: expiring at $13 million and non-guaranteed.
Al Jefferson was a serious target. Just when Minnesota’s asking price started going up, Charlotte’s proposed deal that would’ve sent Chandler to Toronto fell apart.
“So we switched,” Nelson said. “We’d talked to Charlotte about Chandler in the past.”
Jefferson is younger and could be dynamic. But he’s far more of a scorer than a defender and Dallas already has one of those in Dirk Nowitzki. Plus, the Mavericks would’ve had to give up more to get him, including future draft picks, and take on the remaining $42 million over three years that’s left on his contract.
Dallas was able to send Matt Carroll and his bad contract to Charlotte and threw in Eduardo Najera. The Mavs also received 7-foot project center Alexis Ajinca. Dallas also signed reserve center Ian Mahinmi, who spent the last two years with the Spurs and the Austin Toros.