SP is the newest writer to hit the pine for NBAMate. He’s a struggling Hornets fan who hasn’t yet come to terms with the fact that the most exciting player to watch on his team is Jason Smith. He’s also the founder of hoopdownunder.com and spends his spare time cheering for every opponent of the Minnesota Timberwolves in hopes of Anthony Davis wearing the creole blue in 2012.
Chris Kaman Is On The Block
General Manager Dell Demps of the New Orleans Hornets has confirmed that the organisation are actively seeking a trade involving their All-Star center, Chris Kaman. “We had a conversation with Chris [Kaman] and expressed that the Hornets are going to go in a different direction. We mutually decided for a number of reasons that we are not going to play Chris as we pursue a trade. Chris has been the ultimate professional during this process and we thank him for the way he has handled this situation.”
There’s no doubt that to some teams around the league Chris Kaman will be viewed as more than just the ugliest dude in professional basketball with an expiring contract and a fetish for deer carcass. The Milwaukee Bucks are one team who have shown immediate interest in acquiring Kaman, in an effort to fill the gaping hole left by Andrew Bogut who will be sidelined indefinitely with a fractured ankle. However the new CBA regulations prevent Kaman from being packaged in a trade before mid-february, and the lack of expiring contracts on the Bucks payroll, make a Kaman to Milwaukee trade highly unlikely. Unwelcoming news to the Bucks organisation. Welcoming news to the Bucks mascot Bango, a member of the deer family.
The process of moving Kaman to another organisation presents some exciting opportunities for the rebuilding Hornets, who are undeniably looking to strengthen their roster with as many 2012 draft picks, expiring contracts, and young prospects as possible. One team who does have the ability to offer a combination of these assets is the Boston Celtics, who own the rights to two first-round picks in the upcoming draft, have Jermaine O’Neal on the books for just under $7 million and may be looking to add a legitimate low-post option to their roster for one last shot at a title with the current nucleus of Celtics.
This trade also presents a major opportunity for the Hornets rookie center, Gustavo Ayon. Ayon has averaged 4.4 points, 2.4 rebounds and .5 blocks in less than 10 minutes per game. Which equates to an impressive 16.7pts/8.7rebs/2blks per 36 minutes and a 25.94 PER. By moving Kaman, a player who still requires quite a lot of court time, this frees up the backlog Monty Williams has dealt with in the front court through the first quarter of the season, and gives him the opportunity to provide the younger players with some quality court time and a better chance to improve.
Chris Kaman is potentially a huge piece for any contending team. The guy averaged 18-9 just two seasons ago and is one of the few big guys in the league that can regularly nail the 15-18 foot jumper. The Boston scenario that SP outlined is entirely plausible, but rumor has it the Rockets, Pacers, Jazz and Spurs are also interested. It’s the Spurs that most intrigue me – pairing Kaman with Duncan not only would rekindle the Twin Towers theme in San Antonio, but also serve to help extend Duncan’s career. The Spurs would likely have to give up RJ, but I haven’t met a Spurs fan who wouldn’t oppose that idea.
To read more of SP’s stuff, check out his blog at Hoop Downunder