Erick Dampier is not an impact player any more, but he has one of the biggest "impact contracts" in the NBA. Dampier is on the final year of a deal that pays him $13 million, but the contract is completely unguaranteed. He can be waived at any time and save his current team, the Charlotte Bobcats, a lot of coin.
The Bobcats have been rumored to be shopping his deal, but have yet to find a suitable offer. Worse, the clock is running out on them. Very soon, they will have to write that first paycheck to Dampier, and its going to have a lot of zeroes.
Surprisingly, the answer may be a trade to a team with ample cap space, like the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves financial positioning gives them the ability to provide a valuable service for the Bobcats (for a small fee of course) when it comes to Dampier. If CHA waives him, they just get the savings. However, if they trade him to a team like the Wolves, they still get the savings ..plus they create a $13 mil Traded Player Exception! The TPE has all the trade value of Erick Dampier with no salary costs, and a longer, one-year expiration date. It is a very valuable trade chip.
Meanwhile for Minnesota, trading for Dampier and waiving his unguaranteed deal themselves has no negative effect whatsoever. Any cap space they "trade," they get right back!
The price tag for Minnesota's service would be negotiable. We could do a straight deal for cash or a small future pick, and CHA fans on other websites have discussed how Delonte West and even Kostas Koufos could help them. A deal like:
Delonte West for Dampier + ???
.. would start by saving us the $500,000 guaranteed on West's deal.
For the Wolves, this deal is literally about creating something-from-nothing. And when you can get paid for "nothing," you're doing your job as a GM.