NBA Rumors: New Orleans Hornets Will Regret Holding onto Chris Kaman

Thad NovakCorrespondent IFebruary 4, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - DECEMBER 26:  Chris Kaman #35 of the New Orleans Hornets handles the ball during the season openning NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on December 26, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Hornets defeated the Suns 85-84. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

At eight-plus NBA seasons, Chris Kaman had more experience than the rest of the Hornets’ acquisitions from the Chris Paul deal put together and he will resume his ninth year in the league as part of New Orleans' roster.

Kaman had been inactive since last week while the NBA (serving as a front office for the league-owned Hornets) shopped him to potential trade partners. Yesterday, though, ESPN reported that those talks have ended and that the 7’0” center has been told to return to the team.

This decision doesn’t rule out Kaman being moved prior to the trade deadline on March 15, but it would obviously delay any such transaction. Even the delay isn’t ideal for the Hornets, but it would be utter folly if New Orleans failed to ship Kaman out by next month.

Kaman is only two seasons removed from earning an All-Star nod with the Clippers and at age 30 (which he’ll be by the offseason) he’ll be a hot commodity on the free-agent market. As he’s becoming an unrestricted free agent and the team clearly has little interest in re-signing him, the Hornets stand to lose him for nothing if they don’t work out some sort of trade.

In addition, having a lame-duck Kaman on the roster at this point offers little benefit for the team’s present and none for its future. Any playing time he gets will come at the expense of youngsters like Al-Farouq Aminu (another piece from the Paul trade) who need all the experience they can get.

The Hornets’ pseudo front office can still salvage this mess by dealing Kaman in the next six weeks, but they’re already hurting themselves by not pulling the trigger sooner rather than later.