Did Mavs deal Erick Dampier too soon?

The Charlotte Bobcats still have hope they can make good use of Erick Dampier’s instantly expiring contract in the trade market.

Bobcats general manager Rod Huggins told reporters that he’ll try to trade Dampier after Sept. 13 – when he can be packaged with other players – instead of waiving the big man beforehand and taking the savings from his $13 million salary being wiped off the books.

“It's going to take a while,” Higgins said. “Now that we've got another center, waiving him for the sake of waiving him doesn't make a whole lot of sense for us. We're going to continue to talk to teams to try to improve our roster.”

If Charlotte lands a star, it’ll be easy to second-guess the Mavs’ brass for not making better use of the Damp chip. But that's unlikely, considering the Mavs thoroughly explored the trade market before pulling the trigger on the deal that shipped Dampier to Charlotte.

As it is, we can still debate whether the Mavs would have been better off getting Al Jefferson instead of Tyson Chandler. I’d rather have Jefferson, a proven 20-10 player, but the AAC-based logic is that Chandler is a better fit from a basketball and financial standpoint.

The Mavs are delighted with what they’ve seen from Chandler during his time with Team USA. They believe his explosiveness is back after a couple of injury-ravaged seasons. They’re optimistic that his ability to defend multiple positions, run the floor and finish make him a excellent complement to Brendan Haywood.

And then there’s the financial aspect of acquiring Chandler. The Mavs managed to dump two contracts on Charlotte (Matt Carroll and Eduardo Najera) for a player with a $12.6 million expiring contract.

If the Bobcats are able to move Dampier for an impact player, it’ll look bad for the Mavs. But we can’t really judge the Mavs’ use of the Damp chip until we see whether they’re able to flip Chandler for the sort of star they hoped to land this summer.