Heat forward Udonis Haslem will undergo foot surgery Tuesday and miss several months, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to CBSSports.com.
The surgery, first reported by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel , creates a huge void in Miami's frontcourt rotation and will require them to revisit their pursuit of free-agent center Erick Dampier.
The prognosis for Haslem's recovery from the procedure to repair a torn ligament in his left foot likely makes returning after the All-Star break the best-case scenario. With its already thin front line having been exploited at times against bigger lineups, Miami will have to add a big man to replace Haslem's rebounding and post defense. Replacing his leadership will be even more difficult.
UPDATE: The Heat offered Dampier, 35, a one-year contract at the prorated veteran's minimum and he is expected to sign it Tuesday, CBSSports.com has learned. Miami will have to release a player -- Dexter Pittman or Jamaal Magloire, according to sources -- to create a roster spot for Dampier.
After initially being rebuffed by the Heat, Dampier appeared headed for the Rockets. But the deal fell apart when Houston had difficulty creating a roster spot for him, according to an NBA front office source. The Suns and Trail Blazers also have inquired about Dampier, who would be an ideal fit because he's a natural center and thus would limit the exposure of Chris Bosh and Joel Anthony at the five position -- a spot neither is ideally suited to play.
The Blazers are down two big men after the retirement of Fabricio Oberto and the news that 2007 No. 1 pick Greg Oden will miss the rest of the season due to microfracture surgery. Portland signed Sean Marks after working out Marks, Randolph, Earl Barron, and Dwayne Jones. Barron later signed with the Suns, who are no longer pursuing Dampier; the opportunity for Dampier would be only short-term in Phoenix because starting center Robin Lopez's knee injury is not a long-term situation.
Another name on the market, Mikki Moore, was discussed by Portland officials when Oberto retired, but the team elected not to pursue him. Moore has played for six teams in the past six seasons.