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Bobcats waive Dampier, move the big contract they had to move

I should really stop paying Ahmad's texting bills. Maybe, then, I'd have enough money to go into the luxury tax.
I should really stop paying Ahmad's texting bills. Maybe, then, I'd have enough money to go into the luxury tax.

Waiving Erick Dampier isn't the worst thing in the world. The Bobcats couldn't keep him at his full contract, and there were few, if any, teams willing to offer something worthwhile for him. After all, which team in the league is more in need of financial relief than the Cats? Why would any other team offer a young player in exchange for a salary dump unless there was another strong force at work? Ergo, Damp got waived. If it's true that they're recouping $26 million that would have gone to Dampier and the league (luxury tax money), then it's even more understandable.

So, as it stands, we're looking at Nazr Mohammed or Kwame Brown as the starting center, unless -- and I think this is more likely than his reputation would suggest -- Larry Brown decides to go all Mike D'Antoni on us and start Boris Diaw at center. In many ways, I'm sympathetic to that route, mainly because it would put our five best players on the floor. If D.J. Augustin is at point guard, that could also be good reason to play Diaw in order to put some play creation burden on him -- point center! -- and let Augustin shoot more.

Rick Bonnell sought out the bright side, but I don't think he emphasized enough that it's not so much about being able to make moves going forward as it is about halting a backward slide. Waiving Dampier is payroll relief that keeps the team from further spiraling. Remember, this was the franchise that was hemorrhaging $35 million last season.

We're shaky at center and shaky at point guard. If clarity doesn't come, then this is debt being paid on past trades. As I wrote in June 2009:

While everyone else is trying to clear cap space for 2010, we may as well acknowledge that we won't be players in that game and instead try to find bargains among the teams that want to dump talented players signed to longer contracts. The problem is that we didn't really get all that more talented, and now, with the team pushing up against the luxury tax if they use their full mid-level exception, we're pretty much tied to improving the team through the draft unless we can move a large contract... which everyone else is trying to do.

Well, we've moved our large contract. The next step will have to wait.