Hawks Offer Dampier $37 Million Over Four Years

Philip Maymin
Basketball News Services 

The Hawks offer to Dampier is reportedly $37 million over four years. Dampier would earn $8 million his first year and get 10% pay raises in each subsequent year. A sign-and-trade deal between the Warriors and the Knicks appears to be stuck now that the Warriors don't have a need for any of New York's bigs in return, but Atlanta still is not the only team in pursuit of last year's breakout center. Memphis and Indiana are also in the hunt. Meanwhile, Atlanta also appears to be making overtures to Denver's Jon Barry. Apparently Atlanta doesn't have enough swingmen.

A resounding 2/3 of more than 1,500 voters on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's web site would prefer Atlanta NOT blow its cap space on Dampier. Still, he averaged a double-double last year, led the league in many categories, and would probably be the best force in the middle against Shaq of any team in the Southeast, at least in Emeka Okafor's rookie year.

If Dampier lands somewhere else, the Hawks are expected to join the long list of teams looking at Memphis's Stromile Swift. Memphis, however, is unlikely to let Swift go without getting something in return.

Between Dampier, Swift, and Barry, it seems clear the Hawks are trying to get something done, anything, and while their biggest need is a formidable center or power forward/center combo, the Hawks appear ready even to sign veteran shooting guard help, not wanting to rely on Boris Diaw and Josh Smith.

They've got cash and they're not afraid to use it.

The Hawks look to improve on their 3-1 record in the Reebok Rocky Mountain Revue today when they take on the host Utah Jazz at 10:00 p.m. EDT/8:00 p.m. MDT. The remainder of their RMR schedule is as follows:

*ATLANTA 87, Charlotte 62 
*ATLANTA 83, Seattle 61
*Atlanta 71, PHOENIX 74
*ATLANTA 74, Dallas 67
*Thursday, July 22nd - Utah - 10:00 p.m. EDT
*Friday, July 23rd - Bye
*Saturday, July 24th - Portland - 4:00 p.m. EDT

WHO:Hawks star Jason Terry Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins
WHAT:NBA Rhythm 'n Rims presented by Sprite
Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta
WHEN:Saturday, July 24, 2004. NBA Rhythm 'n Rims is scheduled to run from 12:00 (noon)-to-6:00 p.m. Terry is set to take part in on-court activities from 2:00-3:00 p.m. and sign free autographs from 3:00-4:00. Wilkins will appear from 2:00-3:00 p.m.

NBA Rhythm 'n Rims presented by Sprite is the NBA's interactive basketball and music tour which brings the excitement of the NBA and live concerts to fans of all ages. Activities are FREE and open to the public.

Musical acts slated to perform include: Nappy Roots, Pastor Troy, 3LW, 6th Day, Small Change, Kali Fam, and Remedy.

The event includes a customized 18-wheel vehicle, which transforms into a 30,000 square-foot basketball theme park featuring a concert stage, two basketball courts and a wide variety of contests and basketball activities. The tour will travel more than 20,000 miles from April through August. Fans can call 866-NBA JAMS or visit for the latest tour information.

The 2004 NBA Rhythm 'n Rims tour is presented by Sprite in association with McDonald's, Nestle, Nokia, Spalding, Speedstick 24/7 and Verizon Wireless.

Atlanta Hawks season tickets can be purchased by calling (404) 827-DUNK or by visiting the team's web site at The Hawks, a member of the National Basketball Association since 1949, will open the 2004-05 campaign in the newly-created Southeast Division, along with the Charlotte Bobcats, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards.


Michael Lee ofThe Atlanta Journal-Constitutionwrites: Golden State Warriors free agent center Erick Dampier hasn't made a decision regarding the Hawks' multiyear contract offer, which is believed to start at $8 million in the first year.But upon arriving home in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday night, he told ABC affiliate WAPT-TV he considers Atlanta "an option." ... The Memphis Grizzlies and Indiana Pacers are also interested in Dampier, but both teams are above the salary cap. They would have to acquire Dampier through a sign-and-trade or offer him the mid-level exception. The Hawks have about $12 million in cap room and can sign Dampier outright.

Brian Heyman ofThe Journal Newswrites: They reportedly would like to do a six-year deal with Dampier for $65 million or so. It's just that Atlanta has also shown an interest in the 29-year-old unrestricted free agent, meeting with him Monday in Salt Lake City.The Hawks are under the salary cap, so they wouldn't have to go the sign-and-trade route, although reports say they may not offer as much money as the Knicks. Atlanta also seems to have an interest in Memphis' restricted free-agent power forward/center, Stromile Swift.

Greg Logan ofNewsdaywrites: Mullin wouldn't mind if Dampier walked away as an unrestricted free agent, which he can do by accepting an offer from Atlanta, which has the salary-cap space to sign him outright. The Hawks are believed to be offering a deal that starts at $8 million and runs four years for a total approaching $37 million.The Knicks could offer their midlevel exception, which begins at $5 million, but Dampier would have to play six years to earn $37.5 million with 10-percent annual raises. If the Knicks can arrange a sign-and- trade, they are prepared to offer a six-year deal starting at $9 million and totaling $67.5 million. But that is a long shot unless the Knicks can find a third team. They are said to be talking to Memphis, but the Grizzlies also are interested in Dampier.

Aaron J. Lopez ofThe Rocky Mountain Newswrites: [Jon] Barry, who is drawing interest from the Atlanta Hawks, said Wednesday he would like to sign a contract before his son, Tyler, begins kindergarten next month."If Atlanta comes with an offer I'm happy with, I would imagine I'm going to try to do this thing as soon as I can," he said. "It's very important for me to get that taken care of." Barry, who will turn 35 on Sunday, averaged 6.2 points and 2.6 assists in 57 games for Denver last season. He missed 21 games because of a shoulder injury but was a key reserve for the Nuggets late in the season.

Michael Lee ofThe Atlanta Journal-Constitutionwrites: He enters games at the Rocky Mountain Revue Summer League, but his name is barely heard on the public address system, drowned out by the roar of the crowd. When he scores, the fans at Salt Lake Community College cheer as if John Stockton just dished out another assist to Karl Malone. He can't go to the grocery store or area restaurants without stopping to sign autographs. And he is driving a fresh new sports car on loan from a local dealer for no other reason except he is Travis Hansen. "Only in Utah," Hansen, the Hawks' 6-foot-6 second-year swingman, said with a smile.Only in Utah can the hometown hero get this kind of love and adulation. Few fans in Atlanta -- or around the country -- are aware of the Eminem look-alike because he rarely played last season as a rookie. But here, the native of nearby Orem and a former standout at Brigham Young is one of the few Utah natives to actually make it to the NBA. Now, while playing in front of his most ardent supporters, Hansen is trying to ensure that he sticks around.