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Will Erick Dampier Return Next Season?

Mavs fans are aware of the unique nature of Erick Dampier's contract. He has special trade value because his $13 million option for 2010-11 can be used in trade, but then can go away immediately with no penalty. Much has been made about what Dallas can do with this chip - too much in my opinion - but today's NBA does have financial issues, so we will just have to wait and see.

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But Tim McMahon raises a valid point today that has not received much play locally. McMahon thinks that Dampier is likely to return to Dallas regardless of where he goes in trade this summer. Dallas faces a tough decision on Brendan Haywood, a free agent whose value to a team seems to appear greater from a distance than after a lot of up close time.

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If Dallas decides not to go in big to retain Haywood (or if he's just had enough of Rick Carlisle), they will once again be desperate for a legitimate center. While we have been down the Dampier road before and seen frustrating results, the Mavericks do value Dampier for the role that he does play, and even Dampier is better than no center at all.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.