How the Hawks Will Land Dampier

Philip Maymin
Basketball News Services 

The primary suitors for Erick Dampier continue to be Indiana, Memphis, New York, and Atlanta, with Phoenix a possibility. Only Atlanta can sign Dampier outright. The remaining teams need to negotiate both with Dampier and Chris Mullin to get a sign-and-trade. It appears as if the parts the rest are willing to offer, Mullin doesn't want, and the players Mullin wants, the others aren't willing to offer. Of course, should Shawn Marion become available, that would change everything. Meanwhile, Atlanta may have a high-priced steal on their hands. More accurately, the Hawks' reasonable offer to Dampier may be the best he gets.

Let's break down the competition one-by-one. New York is now dangling Kurt Thomas as bait. Memphis is not yet dangling Stromile Swift or Shane Battier but is trying to propose three-way trades including the Hawks. In those proposed deals, the Hawks would get Bonzi Wells. Oh, goodie! Just what Atlanta needs. Another swingman. Indiana's package is unknown.

If Phoenix is willing to ship Marion, Mullin would be a fool not to jump on it. He's a legitimate All-Star and he can do anything on the court. The question is does Phoenix want to deal the 20-and-10 man for a double-double center, at best. I sure wouldn't.

That leaves just Atlanta's short-term, not overly expensive offer.

Poor Erick Dampier.

But hurray for the Hawks!

Josh Smith and Jason Collier Appearing at Wal-Mart Tomorrow
WHO:Hawks forward Josh Smith Hawks center Jason Collier
WHAT:Wal-Mart Grand Opening
WHERE:Wal-Mart 5401 Fairington Road Lithonia, GA 30038
WHEN:Saturday, July 31, 2004 ... Collier is slated to be on-site from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., while Smith is scheduled for 1:00 to 2:00 ... Hawks inflatable games and Thrashers Hockey in the Streets (H.I.T.S.) elements will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Atlanta Hawks rookie sensation and local product Josh Smith is set to join Hawks center and Georgia Tech alum Jason Collier for a special Grand Opening Celebration at the newest Wal-Mart location in Lithonia. Both players will sign free autographs and pose for pictures with fans of all ages this Saturday. Hawks inflatable games and Thrashers Hockey in the Streets (H.I.T.S.) elements will be open to help tip off this special day, which also includes appearances by SkyHawk, Thrash and members of the Hawks Dance Team. Admission is free! For more information, call 404.827.DUNK.


Chris Tomasson ofThe Rocky Mountain Newswrites: [Jon] Barry, a free-agent guard who played last season with the Denver Nuggets, said Thursday he will consider retiring if he doesn't get what he considers an acceptable offer. "Sure, that's an option if I don't get a situation that I like," he said. Barry, 35, is looking to play for a contender or in a city in which he wants to live.He hasn't received a contract offer, although his agent, Arn Tellem, has been talking with several teams. Barry said Atlanta, where he makes his home, has an interest, but the Hawks are holding onto to their money for a possible run at free-agent center Erick Dampier. Another candidate is the Los Angeles Clippers.

Kori Ellis ofWOAIwrites: Viktor Sanikidze, who was chosen by the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the 2004 NBA Draft and then traded to San Antonio Spurs, is expected to visit the Alamo City soon."I will go on August 10th to San Antonio, but I think I will definitely play one more season in France," Viktor Sanikidze told Georgian Sports. 

Henri E. Cauvin ofThe Washington Postwrites: The man accused of killing a 15-year-old girl last weekend in Northeast Washington "admitted to the shooting," prosecutors said in charging papers filed yesterday in D.C. Superior Court. Joshua Ross, 20, told investigators that he promptly sold the gun used in the shooting that claimed the life of Myesha Lowe, a promising high school student who was to leave the next day on a group trip to Niagara Falls, the documents say... Wearing blue jeans and a black Atlanta Hawks jersey, Ross was shackled at the waist during his court appearance, an unusual security measure that was prompted, the judge was told, by his "aggressive" behavior toward the marshals earlier in the day.