Chris Kaman: Dallas Mavericks Agree to Contract with Veteran

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2012

The Dallas Mavericks have finally found their replacement for Tyson Chandler, one year later.

Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that free-agent center Chris Kaman will be headed to Dallas:

Mavericks have agreed in principle to sign center Chris Kaman, a source tells Yahoo! Sports.

— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 11, 2012

A mere five minutes later, Kaman himself confirmed the news via Twitter:

Partnering up with @swish41 and heading to the Mavs........

— Chris Kaman (@ChrisKaman) July 11, 2012

While the financial terms of the agreement have yet to be disclosed, ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that the deal is expected to be for one year.

The nine-year veteran and former All-Star had reportedly drawn interest from the Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs and Sacramento Kings, but it’s the Mavericks who have emerged victorious.

Last season, as a member of the New Orleans Hornets, the 30-year-old Kaman averaged 13.1 points and 7.7 rebounds while blocking 1.6 shots per game.

Kaman’s reference to Dirk Nowitzki’s Twitter handle in his tweet comes as no surprise. The pair competed together on the German national team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Kaman will join a Mavericks team that has been the big loser in free agency thus far.

After failing to land All-Star and Texas native Deron Williams, the team also whiffed on Jason Kidd and Steve Nash, in addition to losing Jason Terry to the Boston Celtics. Dwight Howard is completely off the radar as well.

One of the glaring holes in the Mavericks last season was their weak defensive presence in the paint. Brendan Haywood has proved to be nothing more than a role player, and defensive guru Shawn Marion, at 6'7", can’t guard opposing teams' centers.

Now with the 7' Kaman on board, both the offense and defense have improved. Kaman has always been a strong offensive player in the paint, and has shown steady improvement on defense over the years.

While this may not make up for all of the other losses, Kaman will certainly make the Mavericks a better team.

Finally, a replacement for Chandler is coming to town.