Since the devastating trade of Kendrick Perkins, Doc Rivers, the Boston Celtics and company have been looking for a big man to provide strength, rebounding and toughness down in the post both on offense and defense.
Centers are always hard to come by at any level of basketball. In fact in my humble opinion, that's why there was so much emphasis placed on the Kendrick Perkins deal made by the C's last year. Yes, Kendrick Perkins is overrated, but his defense is a difference maker in a league hungry for big men. The Celtics haven't been the same since his departure either.
Currently, the Boston Celtics are ranked 24th out of 30 NBA teams in terms of their rebounding rate, checking in with a 48.4. The rebound rate is defined as "the percentage of missed shots that a team rebounds. The rebound rate is equal to (rebounds x team minutes) divided by [player minutes x (team rebounds + opponent rebounds)].
In short, the Celtics need a lot of help with rebounding and especially lack in offensive rebounding, ranking dead last in the NBA at 22.8 offensive rebound rate.
If I as an article writer am aware of these horrid statistics, then you can bet your life that Doc Rivers and the Boston Celtics front office are well aware of them as well. Simply put, the Celtics are not getting second-chance opportunities, and it's because they lack size down low. In comes Chris Kaman.
Chris Kaman is still relatively young at 29 years old, especially if you compare him to the aging "Big 3" core of the Boston Celtics. Over his nine-year career, Kaman has averaged 11.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.4 BPG, 1.4 APG and 2.2 OR per game. In case you are unfamiliar with what "OR" means, it represents offensive rebounds per game.
Only Kevin Garnett during his 17-year career has registered a higher OR per game than Chris Kaman checking in with 2.5 OR in comparison to Kaman's 2.2 OR per game. Other honorable mentions are Jermaine O'Neal who has averaged 2 OR per game over his 17-year career and Brandon Bass who has 1.7 OR per game over his seven-year career.
To give you an idea of what a great OR per game number is, take a look at Dwight Howard. Howard, over an eight-year career has managed a 3.7 OR per game. Not everyone can be Dwight Howard, and in fact, when it comes to rebounding in the NBA he's the best. However, if you want to be the best you need to beat the best.
The Celtics have been winning as of late and recently beat Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic in back-to-back games, but it was in no thanks to their rebounding. In the first of the two back-to-backs, the Celtics outrebounded the Magic 46 to 44, but in the second of the two games, the Celtics were outrebounded 46 to 37 and had to erase a 27-point deficit to prevail.
Since the Boston Celtics are not on Dwight Howard's trade wish list, Kaman is a more-than-ample second option for the C's. The Celtics could make a run at the 29-year-old seven-footer, but it won't be easy. Kaman is making $14 million this season in the final year of a five-year, $52 million deal.
Unless the Celtics are willing to trade one of their "Big 3" (which they have been rumored to be willing to do), then the Celtics really have no combination that would work for the NBA owned New Orleans Hornets. Celtics fans are hoping the Hornets can't find a suitable trade partner. That scenario could trigger a buyout. However, the Hornets could choose to just let Kaman sit out the rest of the season instead when he would then become an unrestricted free agent.
Kaman was shipped to New Orleans with Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu and Minnesota's unprotected 2012 first-round pick in the trade for Chris Paul back in December of 2011. In the end, all fans can do is wait to see what develops, but if the Celtics are able to land Chris Kaman or someone similar to him, then they have a legitimate chance of contending for a title.