Per Serena Winters of Lakers Nation:
Kaman: "The whole season has been a frustrating year for me personally..." Understandably so...— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) February 9, 2014
Elaborating further on the situation:
Kaman acknowledged that some of the frustrations come from guys being on 1-year deals & in turn not always knowing what to do out there— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) February 9, 2014
It has been a difficult season for Kaman, and he hasn’t been shy about expressing his feelings. The veteran big man signed with the Lakers this past summer on a one-year, $3.2 million free-agent deal, expecting that he would play a meaningful role in the rotation.
Instead, Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni has used the former All-Star sparingly. While Kaman sat out a handful of games with a sore back, there have been many more DNPs at D’Antoni’s discretion. Kaman has appeared in 27 out of 51 games, averaging 9.4 points and 5.5 rebounds in 17.3 minutes per game.
Chris Kaman is probably healthy enough to play, but D’Antoni indicated he’s out of the rotation anyhow— Bill Oram (@bill_oram) November 27, 2013
Kaman’s reference to one-year deals comes during a transitional season for the Lakers. In an effort to clear salary space for next season, management signed the majority of the current roster to short-term agreements.
Lakers plan is simple. Go after bargains with one-year minimum deals this year and go for broke next year.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 14, 2013
In fact, only Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Nick Young, Robert Sacre and rookie Ryan Kelly have deals in place for next season. Of those, Kelly’s is a qualifying offer and Young’s is a player’s option.
In December, Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reported on Kaman’s disillusionment:
It's definitely not what I was told coming in here. Obviously, I would have never came here if they had said, 'We're not going to play you at all.' I thought I had a good opportunity coming here.
On February 7, Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles relayed Kaman’s feelings about the upcoming trade deadline:
I don't care, I honestly don't care. It's not something that I want to do, but it's not going to make me go to sleep at night and have to stay awake all night tossing and turning thinking about it. If they want to trade somebody, trade me, trade the next guy, it don't bother me.
He's been in the league for a long time, and he's one of the most skilled big men I've ever seen ever since I was in high school. He has both left and right-hand hooks, a mid-range game -- and once he's in a rhythm like he was today, it's really hard to stop him.
The Lakers have been experiencing one of their worst seasons in years, with an 18-33 record through Sunday’s game. Between a myriad of injuries, uncertainty about players’ futures and mounting losses, it’s hard not to give credence to Kaman’s words.