Well, it seems that the Los Angeles Lakers finally signed a free agent. This had been talked about for a bit.
Per Marc Stein of ESPN…
Lakers and Chris Kaman, I’ve told, have agreed to terms on one-year deal
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 8, 2013
And per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN L.A.
Kaman will get the Lakers mini midlevel exception, Im told
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 8, 2013
Mr. Kaman himself made it official.
It's true, I am going to be going back to LA and it's to play for the Lakers! I am excited about this move and can't wait to play! #Lakers
— Chris Kaman (@ChrisKaman) July 8, 2013
Since the Lakers are all capped out, the mini-midlevel was the most the Lakers could offer ($3 million).
You may remember Kaman from his long tenure with the Los Angeles Clippers, where he spent eight years. You may also remember Kaman making the all-star team in the 2009-10 season when he averaged 18.5 points amd 9.3 rebounds per game. After the Clippers, he spent 2011-12 with the New Orleans Hornets and last year with the Dallas Mavericks.
Since the deal is only for one year, this won’t affect the Lakers’ cap space for the 2014 offseason. As far as Kaman’s fit with the Lakers? While Dwight Howard left, a big isn’t exactly a huge need for the lakers with Pau Gasol there. Kaman has a good offensive game around the post and a decent jumper. Here’s his shot distribution from last season.
If D’Antoni intends to start Kaman, I’ll be curious to see how he meshes Pau and Kaman together since both of them can play the post. But if Kaman is signed to back up Pau, which is what I hope he was signed for? That would actually be quite the steal. While the Lakers are getting the leftovers in the free agency bin, Kaman at the mini-midlevel is a very good signing. He still has plenty left in the tank and while Kaman isn’t the strongest defensively, he can still block a shot or two (averages 1.4 blocks his career).
Now let’s see who else the Lakers can get on board in what seems to be a transition year. Need a little wing help, guys.
*Data from NBA.Com stats