Is Dampier the missing link in Dallas?

Updated: September 1, 2004, 3:22 PM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
It appears the Dallas Mavericks and Don Nelson can finally end the Erick Dampier soap opera. Numerous reports claim that the Mavs and Warriors have worked out a complicated trade that will ultimately send Dampier, Evan Eschmeyer and Dan Dickau to the Mavericks for Christian Laettner, Eduardo Najera, two future first-round picks and cash.

The report first surfaced on Tuesday evening. Why isn't it done? The conventional wisdom is that it can't happen until either Aug. 23rd or Sept. 20th because of specific rules in the CBA that prohibit a player who has already been traded from being retraded in a multiplayer deal within 60 days of his last trade.

Both Laettner (June 24th) and Dickau (July 20th) have already been traded this summer, which means they must wait 60 days before they can be packaged in a multiplayer trade. However, the Mavs and Warriors don't have to wait that long if they don't want to. There are loopholes in the CBA that could allow the deal to go down now.

Players can be retraded immediately as long as they are traded straight up for another player. For all of you salary-cap nerds out there who want to know how this trade can get done on Thursday … here's how it can work if the trade is really ready to go.

Chad Ford

ESPN Senior Writer