NBA Trade Rumors: Can New Orleans Really Trade Chris Kaman?

Ernest ShepardAnalyst IIIJanuary 31, 2012

Several teams are said to have interest in the veteran center but can a deal truly be reached?
Several teams are said to have interest in the veteran center but can a deal truly be reached?Chris Graythen/Getty Images

As reported, New Orleans veteran center Chris Kaman is on the trade market. As I wrote previously, Kaman would be a good addition to a team that needs size.

Among the teams I mentioned were the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks. So far the Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly interested, and after a couple of responses, the Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves should also be placed on that list.

While no one can argue Chris Kaman’s talent, there is a potential bump in the road.

When healthy, Kaman is arguably one of the top 10 centers in the NBA. His willingness to defend and rebound comes as a plus for any team looking to acquire him via trade. At this stage of his career, Kaman is on the downside—but he can still average a near double-double for a contending team.

He will guard the top-flight centers in the NBA using savvy footwork and positioning. While only playing limited minutes for the Hornets, Kaman should have something left in the tank.

This is isn't the Chris Kaman of the old. Definitely not the All-Star from the 2009-10 season, but he does not have to be. He just has to contribute with a few shots in the post and some good defense.

The problem with trading Chris Kaman is his $14 million contract. With the strict trading rules in the NBA (all NBA trades must be within 125 percent of the incoming or outgoing salaries), there will be fewer options for the Hornets to explore. In order to consummate a trade, the Hornets must perhaps—take back a terrible contract.  

Why would New Orleans General Manager Will Demps handicap himself with a bad contract when he is attempting to dump one?

For a team rebuilding the way that the Hornets are, they must go young and avoid the contracts that will saddle them further down the road.

The only realistic option for New Orleans is to cut bait and waive Chris Kaman. The team would remain on the hook for the remainder of his contract, but it expires at season’s end—causing essentially very limited damage.

It would guarantee that the Hornets won’t be further strapped for cash by taking on the few contracts that they can receive for Chris Kaman. I also doubt that any team would offer up a lot knowing that Kaman may possibly be waived if no deal can be reached.

Again, I believe it would be better for the franchise if New Orleans just parted ways.