Chris Kaman isn't going anywhere -- for now
As for the followup to the Zach Randolph deal that the rest of the NBA is waiting for?
There is none.
It’s not like this is the final version of the Clipper roster, not with a 2-11 record, but they didn’t get Randolph assuming they would then move Chris Kaman.
They got Randolph because the deal was too good to be true. Mike Dunleavy loved Cuttino Mobley for his leadership as well as his versatility, and Tim Thomas’ shooting made up for everything he didn’t do (more or less), but they’re 33 and 31, respectively, making $9.1 million and $6 million, respectively.
In other words, the Clippers gave up two aging rotation guys with problem contracts for a 27-year-old 20-10 guy.
Trading Kaman would leave just one center, 34-year-old Marcus Camby, who’s coming off an injury and under physicians’ orders to keep it under 30 minutes. Kaman remains maddeningly tentative, but 7-footers averaging 14.5 points, 10.2 rebounds and shooting 58% are always in demand, which is why his name has gotten into the news so much recently. There are a lot of teams that start problematic power forwards at center -- like the Bulls, who have Drew Gooden there and reportedly would give anyone they have, except Derrick Rose, for Kaman.
Nevertheless, Kaman is still a favorite of Dunleavy, who has brought him to this point while envisioning how much further he could go if he ever stops overthinking everything. Even if Dunleavy can’t use Kaman, Camby and Randolph together, he has 96 minutes at center and power forward to divide among them.
The Clippers are now down to three holdovers from last season: Kaman, Al Thornton and Paul Davis. Before they make it two, they’d like to see if this week’s team is any better than last week’s.
-- Mark Heisler
|Photo: Chris Kaman squeezes between the Denver Nuggets Nene' (left) and J.R. Smith during a game at Staples Center in late October. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times|