AP source: Rockets sign C Dampier

The Houston Rockets bolstered their front court Friday when

Erick Dampier agreed to a one-year deal.

A person familiar with the negotiations, speaking on condition

of anonymity because no formal announcement had been made,

confirmed the agreement. It first was reported by The Houston

Chronicle and KRIV-TV.

The 6-foot-11 Dampier, who will enter his 15th season, played

the last six years with Dallas. The Mavericks traded the

35-year-old Dampier to Charlotte in July, and the Bobcats voided

his contract for the upcoming season, making him a free agent.

The Rockets are limiting 7-6 center Yao Ming to no more than 24

minutes per game as he comes back from foot surgery that sidelined

him all of last season.

Dampier, 35, started his career with Indiana and played seven

seasons in Golden State. His best season was 2003-04, when he

averaged 12.3 points and 12 rebounds per game. He was traded to the

Mavericks the following summer, and averaged 6.6 points and 7.6

rebounds in six seasons in Dallas.

Yao started and played 23 minutes in Houston’s opening loss to

the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, then sat out the Rockets’ loss

to Golden State on Thursday. The Rockets plan to rest Yao for one

game when they play on consecutive days.

Chuck Hayes started at center against the Warriors. The 6-6

Hayes was Houston’s starting center last season. Brad Miller,

signed in the offseason to back up Yao, played 25 minutes against

the Lakers and three against the Warriors.