When the Dallas Mavericks possessed Tyson Chandler during their championship 2010-2011 season, they boasted what they had lacked for so many years—a formidable big man to situate next to Dirk Nowitzki.
Entering this offseason, it was clear the Mavs needed to address their center position. While Dwight Howard would be a wondrous fit, there was no plausible trade the Mavs could pull off to land "Superman."
Therefore, the Mavs decided to go with savvy veteran Chris Kaman.
While Kaman may seem like a consolation prize after missing out on Howard, he actually will be an X-factor for the Mavs this upcoming year (last season, Kaman averaged 13.1 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per outing for New Orleans).
He's an ideal fit for Dallas and could impress so greatly that he pushes the Mavs back to the NBA Finals. Here are five reasons why Kaman will have a career year for the Mavs.
In Chris Kaman's nine-year career, he has been to the playoffs one time.
That will surely change this coming season. For the first time in Kaman's career, he will be playing for a team that could potentially make a run at the championship.
You can expect him to enter this season with the hopes of going deep into the playoffs. He's now 30 years old and he's paid his dues. He's ready to taste success in the postseason.
This bodes well for the Mavs, as they're seeking to regain the form they possessed two years ago. While Kaman may lack playoff experience, he should be ripe with excitement to play for a team that has some lofty goals.
The Mavs lured Kaman with a one-year deal for $8 million. Therefore, it's not like Kaman just landed a mega-deal and now has the temptation to take a deep breath and stop seeking to prove himself.
At the age of 30, Kaman surely still wants to play a good number of years in the league, and with a productive 2012-2013 season, he could notch a quality, multi-year deal.
On the other hand, if he shows signs of wear and tear, he may never again obtain a lucrative deal.
Thus, Kaman enters this season with plenty of incentive, and because of this, it's likely that he'll have a very efficient season.
Chandler was a phenomenal compliment to Nowitzki two seasons ago, but that mainly came on the defensive end.
Kaman, while not nearly as effective defensively as Chandler, will also compliment Nowitzki —Kaman and Nowitzki are actually close friends—but this will primarily come on the offensive end.
Kaman is one of the most skilled and fundamental big men in the league, and his array of moves will make the Mavs frontcourt problematic to defend.
Nowitzki will operate out of the high post and Kaman will bang in the low post, which should make for a lethal combination.
What's more, the respect these two players garner will only help the production of their backcourt, as players like Vince Carter and newcomer O.J. Mayo should benefit by receiving plenty of kick-outs for wide open trey balls.
After playing eight years with the pre-Chris Paul Los Angeles Clippers and one season with the atrocious post-Chris Paul New Orleans Hornets, Kaman will undoubtedly be ready to play with a roster that has some elite talent.
Nowitzki's presence is obvious, but the Mavs have made a handful of upgrades that will largely enhance Dallas' level of play.
Point guard Darren Collison and Mayo both arrive to Dallas and figure to start in the backcourt. The Mavs also landed veteran big man Elton Brand, giving the Mavs frontcourt depth.
The overall camaraderie of the Mavs will impact Kaman in a very effective manner. He's now playing with talent who will know how to utilize him.
Don't necessarily expect Kaman to put up a banner year statistically, as Nowitzki and Mayo will likely be the two leading scorers. But as far as efficiency goes, this will likely be Kaman's most productive season. He has pieces around him who will help amplify his best assets.
Rick Carlisle has proven that he's a championship-caliber coach. With a handful of different roster make-ups, he's found ways to place players in situations where they're successful. Need some examples?
Look at role players like J.J. Barea and Brian Cardinal in Dallas' 2011 championship season.
Carlisle unquestionably possesses the intellect to know how to utilize Kaman in the most worthwhile manner. Because of this, it won't be shocking to see Kaman post a very high field goal percentage and points per minute rate.
There are numerous reasons why Kaman's value will be highlighted this season, and it will all amount to him having one of the most productive seasons of his career.