DALLAS - There was some quiet scuttle going around the Dallas Mavericks' peeps immediately after the Game 4 loss to the OKC Thunder that the team may use their amnesty clause to make Brendan Haywood go away.
It's just talk.
Since signing a six-year, $55 million deal in July of 2010 with the Mavs his popularity has steadily dropped. The Mavs acquired Tyson Chandler not longer after giving Haywood that extension, which really didn't help his case.
When Chandler left to the Knicks it made Haywood the starting center that he wanted to be. But nothing he did made people not long for the days of Chandler.
Around halftime of the Dallas Mavericks' playoff finale against the Thunder a fan wondered aloud, "I was hoping maybe Brendan Haywood thought it was an 8:30 start so he would miss the game."
In 54 games during the regular season, Haywood averaged 5.2 points and 6.0 rebounds and 1 block per game. During the playoffs, he averaged 3.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 15.3 minutes.
Hawyood will turn 33 in November, and despite his imposing frame - 7-0, 213 pounds - he really is a quality backup bruiser disguised as a starting center. He's a role player making big coin.
But he is not Erick Dampier. Depsite both men projecting just an ish attitude towards the game itself, and fighting what appears to be indifference, Dampier was a far greater disappointment to the Mavs than Haywood. Dampier came to the Mavs in an Avery Johnson-approved sign and trade deal with the Warriors in 2004 and promptly frustrated both the Mavericks and their fans until he was dealt away for Chandler.
The Mavs acquired Dampier to be a quality starting center.
The Mavs acquired Haywood to be a quality backup center.
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