NBA Trade Rumors: Chris Kaman Would Be Big for Hawks in Stretch Run

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IMarch 13, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 28:  Chris Kaman #35 of the New Orleans Hornets tries to move against Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 28, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Hornets 99-95. 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 Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Chris Kaman may not hold much interest to the New Orleans Hornets, but he's certainly a hot trade target leading up to the March 15 deadline.

After being linked to the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors, he was linked to the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.

David Aldridge of wrote:

Atlanta would make sense, even as a two-month rental; the Hawks need a center with Al Horford out at least until the end of the regular season, and they have their own expiring contract in guard Kirk Hinrich.

It's no wonder Kaman is drawing such interest. He can score, rebound, defend, block shots and is one of the true centers in the league. This is a guy who was an All-Star just two years ago after averaging 18.5 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Taking over for Horford, Zaza Pachulia has averaged 8.2 points and 8.2 rebounds as a starter in 27 games. That's not bad for a fill-in, but it's certainly not the production the Hawks were getting before at the center spot, and Kaman is a legit starting center.

The Hornets have been adamant that they won't buy out Kaman's contract if he cannot be traded. It makes sense. The Hornets are, after all, owned by the NBA, and the last thing commissioner David Stern wants is letting Kaman go to a contender of his desire.

Marc Stein of ESPN wrote on Friday:

The sense is that NBA commissioner David Stern, who will continue to serve as New Orleans' ultimate decision-maker until the team is sold, would have no interest in setting Kaman free to join the contender of his choosing. If he did, with Eric Gordon still sidelined after knee surgery, Al-Farouq Aminu would be the only player New Orleans received in the Chris Paul trade who's actually playing for the Hornets.

Expect Kaman to be traded by the deadline. And the Hawks would benefit greatly down the stretch with him manning the 5 spot.


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