According to league sources, the New Orleans Hornets have decided to pull veteran center Chris Kaman off of the trade market. While I feel that the move is only temporary, it is a great move for the Hornets in the interim.
No one expects Kaman to play any meaningful minutes in what will be a brief time in a Hornets uniform but perhaps the plan will be to showcase him in a few games before the March 15 NBA trade deadline.
It will give potential suitors a look-see into how valuable Kaman can be to a contender looking for a starter or depth in the frontcourt.
While showcasing him, the Hornets can also survey his true market value.
I understand not wanting to risk an injury by not playing Kaman, but it important to play him to showcase his durability—he has played more than 75 games just once in the last five seasons.
It was a mistake to sit Kaman completely from a business standpoint. The thinking has to be along the lines of maximizing the return that he can bring to a struggling franchise by giving him regular minutes without disrupting the development of big men Jason Smith and Gustavo Ayon.
By not rushing to accept a less than desirable deal, the Hornets can monitor the Magic’s movement of the Dwight Howard trade talks as any team that is left on the outside looking in of any Howard deal may look to Kaman as a legitimate piece at a rental rate.
Teams like the Hawks, Lakers and Rockets are all interested in acquiring size and they might become desperate if Howard is indeed moved. This will turn their attention to Kaman and they might be more inclined to pay the Hornets' asking price which probably increases as the days grow closer.
When it is all said and done, pulling Chris Kaman from the trade market may turn out to become a great temporary strategy for the Hornets.