NBA Trade Rumors: What Chris Kaman Trade Would Ask from 6 Interested Teams

Tom FirmeAnalyst IIJanuary 30, 2012

NBA Trade Rumors: What Chris Kaman Trade Would Ask from 6 Interested Teams

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    Chris Kaman could be flipped by the New Orleans Hornets just a couple of months after being acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers in the Chris Paul trade.

    According to ESPN.com, the Hornets are actively looking to trade Kaman. Kaman, who is inactive while being shopped, has struggled to fit in with the Hornets, shooting a career-low 43.8 percent from the field.

    Already, teams are lining up for the services of the 29-year-old center from Central Michigan.

    Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweeted, the Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz, San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers are interested in trading for Kaman.

    The Plain Dealer reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers are interested in Kaman.

    The Boston Globe notes that the Boston Celtics would like to acquire Kaman, but want his contract bought out in the process.

    The Hornets and the NBA have a couple of stipulations on the trade. The team must make the modest accommodation of taking at least most of Kaman's expiring contract. Also, the team must be willing to give up young players, and perhaps draft picks as well. By the way, since the NBA owns the team, commissioner David Stern must approve the deal.

    That shouldn't scare teams away since trading Chris Kaman isn't as big as trading Chris Paul.

    Following is a look at what each of the aforementioned teams may need to give the Hornets—excluding draft picks—in a trade for Kaman.

Boston Celtics

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    The Celtics could pull off a trade for Chris Kaman, but general manager Danny Ainge has good reason for wanting Kaman's contract bought out. Kaman carries a $14 million contract and is difficult to move to the Celtics if they're not giving up Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett or Paul Pierce in the trade or beforehand.

    Doing any different would cause greater budgetary affliction for the salary-heavy Celtics.

    Since the Celtics have several expiring contracts, they could make a deal without involving any of the Big Three. However, the Celtics have only five players who will be younger than 30 when the next season begins. The Celtics would have to send Brandon Bass, Avery Bradley and JaJuan Johnson to the Hornets for Kaman.

    Bass, who receives $4 million this season, is in the last year of his deal, but could receive team options in the next two years. Since Bass, 26, averages 11.9 points in 29.3 minutes per game, he would give the Hornets the real scorer they've lacked with Eric Gordon out.

    Bradley, 21, is in the last year of his contract with two team option seasons after this. He's averaging only 3.6 points and 1.8 rebounds in 16.7 minutes per game while pulling in $1.52 million.

    Johnson, a 22-year-old rookie from Purdue, has one year on his contract after this. He makes $1.07 million this season, will receive $1.155 million next season and has two years of team options after that. He's played sparsely in nine games this season.

    Since Bass, Bradley and Johnson combine for only about $6.6 million this season, the Hornets would have to either buy Kaman out or swallow most of it for the deal to work. Besides, the NBA likely wouldn't let the Hornets take Allen, Garnett or other Celtics with expiring contracts like Jermaine O'Neal.

    Thus, this doesn't seem to be a likely scenario.

Cleveland Cavaliers

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    The Cleveland Cavaliers have the contracts to match Chris Kaman's, but they might not give the Hornets a great deal of quality in exchange for Kaman.

    The Hornets don't have a prayer of getting Kyrie Irving since the Cavaliers have set him off limits.

    The Cavaliers could send the Hornets Daniel Gibson, Ramon Sessions and Ryan Hollins in a deal for Kaman.

    Gibson, 25, is earning $4.4 million in the final year of his contract. Gibson's game has been off thus far, as he's averaging 7.1 points per game on 33.9 percent from the field. He might make a decent reserve guard, although the Hornets already have four point guards on their roster.

    Sessions, 25, earns $4.26 million this season and will make $4.5 million next season. He's averaging 9.1 points, 4.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 21.8 minutes per game. Sessions showed some scoring potential last season, averaging 13.3 points per game while shooting 46.6 percent from the field. This season, Sessions is shooting 12.6 percent worse.

    Hollins, 27, is making $2.48 million in the last year of his contract. He's scored only 2.6 points in 10 minutes per game while appearing in only eight games.

    The Cavaliers come close to balancing it out on the pay sheet, as the three players combine for $13.15 million this season.

    This might not be a likely deal since the Cavaliers don't have high-quality players to give the Hornets.

San Antonio Spurs

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    The Spurs have a fair selection of young player to offer the Hornets in exchange for Chris Kaman. However, the Spurs' young guys don't pull in big checks. This would force the Hornets to swallow most of Kaman's remaining contract.

    One possibility is for the Spurs to send Kawhi Leonard, James Anderson and Tiago Splitter.

    Splitter, 27,makes $3.67 this season and $3.94 next season. Splitter is averaging 9.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in 21.5 minutes per game this season. Having spent three seasons developing in Brazil before starting with the Spurs, Splitter could be in for a promising future.

    Leonard, 21, pulls in $1.73 this season, $1.86 million next season and has options for two more years. He's putting up 7.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in 24.1 minutes per game, while starting half of the Spurs' games.

    Anderson, 22, makes $1.46 million this season and has options for two years after this. Anderson is averaging 4.6 points per game in 16 games this season.

    Leonard and Splitter would be good additions to the Hornets frontcourt.

    This deal probably won't come to fruition.

    Since the three players combine for only about $7 million, the Hornets might have to swallow part of Kaman's contract. Also, the Spurs are keen on developing their young players, particularly Splitter. With Tim Duncan and Tony Parker being older players, they need young players to move into bigger roles.

Houston Rockets

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    The Houston Rockets could be a good match for the Hornets in a deal for Chris Kaman. The Rockets are a young team and have expiring contracts to send the Hornets.

    A good deal would see the Rockets send Jordan Hill, Hasheem Thabeet and Terrence Williams, all of whom are 24 years old, to the Hornets for Kaman.

    Hill, who makes $2.86 million this season and has a team option for next season, is averaging 5.3 points and 5.6 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game.

    Terence Williams, who earns $2.37 million this season and has a team option for next season, averages five points and 2.6 rebounds per game in nine games this season.

    Thabeet, who came to the Rockets last season from the Memphis Grizzlies for DeMarre Carroll, has scored only six points in four games this season. Thabeet earns $5.13 million this season and has a team option for next season.

    Hill could be a great contributor in the Hornets frontcourt and Williams could find his way to some minutes in New Orleans. However, Thabeet might be released after the deal since he carries such a heavy contract.

    Still, Thabeet makes this deal since his contract brings the total of the three to $10.36 million. That could make the deal since it likely wouldn't require the Hornets to eat any of Kaman's contract.

Utah Jazz

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    The Jazz have plenty to offer the Hornets in exchange for Chris Kaman. Utah has nine players younger than 30. Also, they have the contracts to enter the ballpark of Kaman's figure.

    One possibility would have the Jazz sending C.J. Miles, Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors for Kaman.

    Favors, 20, is averaging 7.7 points and 6.1 rebounds in 20 minutes per game. He earns $4.44 million this season, $4.53 million next season and has an option for the following season.

    C.J. Miles, 24, is averaging 10.1 points in 18.1 minutes per game. He makes $3.7 million this season and is in the final year of his contract.

    Gordon Hayward, 21, is struggling in his second season out of Butler. He's averaging 8.7 points per game on 39 percent from the field to go with 3.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game. Hayward makes $2.53 million this season and $2.71 million next season before facing a team option in 2013-14.

    Favors would be great for the Hornets frontcourt and Miles would be a nice scorer off the bench. If Hayward plays up to his potential, he could be a good all-around player, aggressive in the post and able to make shots inside and out.

    The three players total $10.67 million.

    In a perfect world, the Hornets would be able to rope in Paul Milsap and Favors, but that would be an unfair deal for one of the two biggest contributors for the Jazz.

Indiana Pacers

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    The Pacers would have a hard time acquiring Kaman since they don't have a large supply of young players who they would likely be willing to move and who are on short-term contracts.

    One possibility would have the Pacers send Tyler Hansbrough, George Hill and Louis Amundson to the Hornets for Kaman.

    Tyler Hansbrough, 26, is an erratic guy. He puts up 9.5 points per game on 37.4 percent from the field to go with 5.6 rebounds per game. He makes $2.16 million this season and $3.06 million next season before becoming a restricted free agent.

    Louis Amundson, 29, has played sparsely in 16 games this season, and is making $2.4 million in the last year of his deal.

    Hill, 25, has been a solid bench contributor for the Pacers this season, averaging 9.7 points per game. He makes $2.09 million and is in the last year of his deal.

    Hansbrough would be pure energy in New Orleans and Hill would be a nice sharpshooting addition.

    The three players total $6.65 million. A trade between the Hornets and Pacers would require the Hornets eating some of Kaman's contract. Also, the Hornets may have to do some work in persuading the Pacers to give up Hansbrough.