Sources: Erick Dampier eyes Heat

Updated: September 24, 2010, 9:09 AM ET
By Chris Broussard | ESPN The Magazine

Erick Dampier is leaning toward signing with the Miami Heat, according to league sources. The 35-year-old center is expected to announce his decision Thursday night or Friday.

Dampier visited the Heat on Wednesday and was presented with a one-year offer for the veteran's minimum of $1.4 million after meeting with president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra, sources said.

Houston, which Dampier also visited this week, has offered Dampier a two-year, $4 million deal. The opportunity to win a championship alongside Miami's super trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh has Dampier favoring the Heat.

Miami did not promise Dampier, a 14-year veteran, the starting center position, but he would seem to have the edge over Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Jamaal Magloire.

Though he averaged six points and 7.3 rebounds for Dallas last season, Dampier would be a big signing for the Heat. At 6-foot-11, 265 pounds, he would fill the only real hole on Miami's roster -- that of a big man who can physically match up with Orlando's Dwight Howard, Boston's Shaquille O'Neal and the Los Angeles Lakers' Andrew Bynum.

Chris Broussard covers the NBA for ESPN The Magazine.