Report: Lakers And Chris Kaman Agree To One-Year Deal

Rey Moralde —  July 8, 2013

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…

 

And per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN L.A.

 

Mr. Kaman himself made it official.

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.

Shotchart 1373314872218

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

Rey Moralde

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51 responses to Report: Lakers And Chris Kaman Agree To One-Year Deal

  1. If he can stay healthy..this is a good signing….10 points and 5 rebounds in only 20 minutes per game…..Now Odom…..please stay away….36% shooting…3 rebounds in 18 minutes per game….You can get that from any D league player……

  2. For Warren!!

    Uh, sorry … couldn’t help myself.

    Agreed, Kamen’s a nice pickup; would be a super back up to Pau.

  3. Meh – we should have used the mini-mid-level on an SG or SF

    we still essentially have no one who can create off the dribble with Kobe out – Nash cannot even bring the ball up without help so no he does not count.

    I agree that if Kaman is starting and Pau is placed as a PF again I think we may even have to worry about Pau being traded at the deadline.

  4. awwww …. Gene … missed the first post by that much.

    Yes, Odom please do stay away.

    Ghosts of Lakers’ titles past, begone! Yes, that means you, too, PJ. Especially PJ … your nattering serves no possible good at this point.

  5. Kaman can’t really play much with Pau; he is probably even slower than Pau is. So, if they did this to have Kaman playing 15-20 a game backing up Pau, I would rather that they had given the mini-MLE to a perimeter player. Also, he is a traditional center–not, supposedly, the type of guy MDA wants to roll with.

    The three other possibilities that I see:

    1. Pau is going to get traded. Remember–he doesn’t like MDA, either. Maybe Pau wants out even with Howard gone, even though I am almost certain that Kobe wants Pau around.
    2. They are not sure about Jordan Hill’s health.
    3. They think they can flip Kaman at the deadline to a contender looking for size and wanted him as an extra chip for what could be a deadline fire sale.

    Remember that the Lakers do not have a traditional power forward under contract; they have Metta and Pau. The only healthy 2 under contract is Jodie Meeks, and the only 3 under contract is Metta, although he is now a 4 as much as a 3, and anybody else they sign gets the minimum, if indeed they gave Kaman the full mini-MLE.

    In a vaccum, Kaman is certainly worth 3M, and he would be a fine backup center for a contender. But I will need to see what else the Lakers do before I endorse this.

    This also means that the Lakers have yet another guy in his 30s on the team.

  6. I like the signing. Let’s just hope D’Antoni uses his players well.

  7. A lot of green in the area where pau saw dozens of uncontested jumpers last year. Could pay dividends on offense if Kaman carries that over to this year.

  8. If he’s not going to be the difference between a championship team and what they currently have now, I’m not sure about the move. Why not get a promising young guy or give Sacre a chance to develop if they are looking to the future?

  9. Brought over from the last thread –

    With the signing of Kaman, the question now becomes –

    1. Was he brought in to be Pau’s backup?
    2. Will Pau now be moved for picks and/or a player(s)?
    3. Will Pau get amnestied to save the organization money?
    —–
    Continuing on this train of thought, I agree with Double R, somewhat, in that if *We* were contenders, I would be fine with this acquisition. But being that we’re not and according to reports, it’s for the entire Mini Mid Level, I’m not feeling this move (albeit, it’s only for this upcoming season) and it definitely doesn’t swing the pendulum.

  10. I do not like this move. At all.

    Kaman does provide very good value for his salary, but I’m looking at team need (rr beat me to the punch). Now all we have left is the vet minimum to throw at wing players. Maybe Wes Johnson was never signing for the mini-MLE, but it’s going to be next to impossible to entice potential-type players like that with the vet minimum.

    The entire problem for the last few years has been Pau at the 4. He’s just too slow. He’s a 5, whatever you think of his defense-anchoring abilities or lack thereof. In an unfortunate turn of events, we finally at least clear ourselves of the positional overlap problem … and then turn around and sign another center?

    Now there’s a strong possibility this means Pau will be traded … in which case, the move makes much more sense to me. Pau’s my favorite post-3-peat Laker and emotionally it would suck to lose him, but as someone advocating for acquiring future assets, I can’t complain about that kind of move. But if we signed Kaman and end up keeping Gasol, we just wasted our best asset while leaving the wing bare. So when Kobe gets back D’Antoni can get up right back up to 46 minutes a game.

  11. Mda can’t possibly start this guy and relegate pau to the stretch 4 role again, can he? Or does this means the fo has chosen to trade/amnesty gasol and keep mwp?

  12. I think this may mean that they have a taker for Pau and are in semi-tank mode, meaning that they don’t care much about a Quixotic run for the 8th seed but also are not willing to run a DLeague team out there and go 13-69. I am not saying it would be a good or bad idea to do that, but things to get about Kaman are:

    1. He is not a stiff. On a contender as a backup 5, he would be a very good player to have.
    2. The other reason that you would want him is just to help you get through the season without embarrassing yourself. Dallas, which is in about the same place the Lakers are in some ways, had Kaman last year.
    3. Teams are always needing size; Kaman can probably be dealt at the deadline if the Lakers are throwing in the towel by then.

    Certainly Kobe will be pissed off if they trade Pau, but there is nothing he can really do about it except gripe a little. The FO can tell him they are setting up for next year, and in any case, he is 675 points behind Jordan on the scoring list and will want to get back out there for that and many other reasons.

  13. smoothaswilkes July 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    This is a disappointing signing to say the least and really makes no sense to me. It seems to be the right time to get young players on the cheap and see if they develop. To use the entire MLE on Kaman is befuddling. That money should have been spent on a wing not a backup center and if he was brought in to push Pau over to the 4 again… then I just give up.

  14. Like others I’m wondering about this one. At one point Hill was suited up to play during the first round against the Spurs. So I assume his health is fine for next season. Between Hill, Pau, and Sacre the Lakers really don’t need another 7 footer. That doesn’t fit with D’Antoni’s style. As noted they need speed on the wings. Now if they were signing Kaman for the vets minimum that’s one thing. But to use the entire mini mid level on him is odd. They are in desperate need of a small forward. This move has to foreshadow something else.

  15. WFT! What is this supposed to do! Clearly Kobe is running the Lakers at this point because this is indicates the Lakers have are clueless.

    This team barely made the playoffs last year. Now you loose Howard. That makes you a lottery team. I didn’t even mention that this is the western conference and several competing teams are younger/improving.

    Kaman changes that? What a waste of time and dollars. It’s time to build the next Lakers team, not masturbate the current roster into thinking they have a chance.

    Don’t tell me a couple minimum salary players + Kaman = D12. That’s magical thinking. Even if you’re right, apparently it only buys you an 8th seed.

    Also, don’t give me the BS re: 2014. I’m sure LeBron will leave a contender to compete with Kobe for touches on a lottery team with an elderly roster. Maybe Kaman has compromising pictures of him? At best you’re hoping Danny Granger is willing to be wildly overpaid to shoot this team to a first-round exit.

    Time to accept reality and pull the plug. The Lakers saw Magic and Shaq leave. Each time they looked to drafting and development to save them – not some free agent pipe dream. We’re the Lakers, not the Knicks.

    Who wants to root for a bunch of old mercenaries anyway? Give the keys to some kids.

  16. I agree with rr that there’s GOT to be some other motivation for doing this other than just trying to win a few more games. But then again, I thought that the Odom move to Dallas had some meaning until we found out later that it didn’t. Not that it turned out to be a bad move as it helped us get Nash, and Odom dropped off considerably with the Mavs. But at the time, all of us thought that there must have been something the Lakers were doing, but it turned out that the Lakers were just dumping Odom. And I have the sick feeling that this is the “Plan B” that Kupchack was talking about.

  17. I agree that the deal for Kaman makes little sense to me. Pau is a center now and it seems, to suit D’Antoni’ s system, that a more versatile player – who could play a small ball center as well as a big forward would have made more sense.

    Honestly, I would have pursued a wing player and moved MWP to power forward. Metta plays more like a stretch four these days anyway. I wonder if this means that Hill is not expected to be healed completely by the start of the season and the expectation is that Pau will slide back to the Four?

    Gosh, can you think of a less athletic front line of Kaman/Pau/MWP?

  18. I really like this signing and it was necessary,we cant rely on Sacre as our lone backup big because well,he is a good cheerleader and that’s it.I always knew that Kaman could play but that shot chart is quite good, i think he will be Pau’s back up he can definitely score so the idea should be not to have a significant drop on production once Pau sits Lets see what scraps we can get on the wing and if Lamar plays for the vet min im all for it.

  19. Ding is saying that MWP is getting amnestied,so were looking at a lineup of Nash,Meeks,Kobe (when he gets back)Hill? and Gasol,

  20. I hope there is something else planned. I was actually getting excited to see the Lakers having a chance to get a top 5 pick. This move is probably a desperation move to try to salvage the season.

    The problem with the Lakers are that I’m not sure they quite get what the rest of the league is doing.

    In the past, the Lakers, due to their name and popularity, didn’t have to resort to doing things like tanking and long term planning, but with the new CBA, I think they need to get with the times. They need to work on player development, plan out a 3-5 year plan to rebuild the team. Even if they are targeting LBJ or Melo in 2014, they need to have a decent cast around them, and with the salary cap restrictions, they need a couple of young Danny Green type guys.

    This Kaman move looks like a desperate attempt to just win a few more games and get into the playoffs to placate TW and Kobe. Before the move, there was essentially zero chance they were going to win a championship, and now, it’s still zero.

  21. Please, no Lamar……those days, great as they were, are over…

  22. Lakers wont tank ok?Stop the nonsense its never been the Laker way and it wont start now.If healthy this is a playoff team.Teams tanking is a disgrace to the sport.I still dont understand what part of 55 million cap space in 2014 people dont understand.We will make the playoffs we might not last long but we will be there.And we probably get a mid 1st rounder in the best draft in the last 10 years and people still whine

  23. fern, the Lakers aren’t about division banners. If you want that, follow the Jazz or Nuggets. I know the Lakers won’t tank, but any season that doesn’t end with a win(in a playoff game), is a disappointment for true Lakers fans.

    Maybe you’re a purist. I get it, you don’t like hack a shaq/Howard, sitting out players to rest them, etc. But smart teams like San Antonio employ those methods because they have to, and the Lakers should too. Remember that San Antonio tanked to get Duncan. And I might be wrong, but I think Pops was actually the GM of San Antonio at the time before he became their coach. He’s one bright guy. Because he knew that’s the only way that a small market team could go from middle of the road, where they had been for decades, to a team that could contend for championships year after year.

    Orlando did the same thing and although they didn’t win it all, at least they got back to the championship.

  24. Lakers17 – even if the Lakers FO was delusional and thought the Kaman signing made them more competitive they would be wrong. The team on paper has virtually no quickness – especially on the perimeter. Kaman adds very little value and in fact uses up all of the available cash that should have been used on FA wings.

    We may have nice combined totals for our centers (PER/Points/Rebounds) but we will be well below average at every other position on the floor. No, I don’t believe that Kobe comes back from this injury and puts up a PER above league average – not this year anyway.

    The Lakers are looking at a 50 – 60 loss season next year.

  25. fern:

    tanking IS a disgrace. but that’s because of the lottery and rewarding bad teams with good picks.

    this isn’t baseball, the Lakers operate under a ‘soft’ cap and a punitive luxury tax – you can’t just throw money at problems because the system is designed to punish that behavior.

    Re: $55 cap space – who do you use it on? This the long version http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2013/7/1/4481538/disassembling-the-myth-of-the-2014-nba-free-agent-class

    The short version is that they’re aren’t many free agents available, and they best are more unlikely to sign with us than D12. Would you, in 2014, sign with three mediocre, overpaid, but legendary veterans (Kobe, Pau, Nash) who will demand you defer to them? When they barely made the 8th seed? Players don’t get healthier as they age.

    LEBRON JAMES ISN’T WALKING THROUGH THAT DOOR

    Wiggens? maybe …

  26. Only Jim Buss could be this stupid. Pau is clearly better suited to play center at this stage of his career. Our SF rotation is now down to 1 player coming back from achilles tear with amnesty used on metta.

  27. One bright spot is MWP getting amnestied. Not that I don’t like him, which I do. I hope that he gets a chance to redeem himself and win back the ring that he gave away. MWP, despite his mental lapses, is a good dude, and I hope he lands somewhere like the Heat or Spurs, or maybe even back in Indiana.

    Anonymous, so if the FO is NOT delusional, what was the point of signing Kaman then if not to get better? To tank? Not out of the question as SAS seems to think. But firm Laker purists like fern don’t think the Lakers would ever do that.

  28. I agree with Fern. The Lakers simply can not count on Sacre as a back up 5. He’s not ready and, very possibly, never will be. Therefore, the Lakers need a back up 5 and that person is now a still rather serviceable Chris Kaman.

    I see Kaman playing 18-20 per game with Pau playing about 34 minutes. That means Kaman will play 14 minutes without Pau and 4 minutes or so with. I fully expect Jordan Hill to start at the 4. He’s ready and I believe he’ll prove it. If I’m right, this is not at all a bad pick up.

  29. Lakers17 i been a Laker fan since 1982 and i seen it all,and this team is not worse than the wreckage after Shaq was traded ok?I know the Lakers standard by heart but i also know that you cant win every year and im well aware of the challenges this team faces but this is not a 50 or 60 losses team,no way in hell we still have some talent and yes i guess im a purist that disapprove of tanking seasons, that could be fine for the Cavs,Bucks or the other doormats of the league but not for the Lakers who btw are not a mid market team. This team will take its lumps this year im prepared for that,like i do every year even when we are the champs. And like i been saying for months now were are facing a 1-2 year rebuilding process tops,you want to see tanking?Go to the Celts and compare how long its going to take them to rebuilt compared to us.

  30. Sorry Lakers17 i meant Sanchez

  31. The Lakers need a starting 3, a backup 3, and a backup 2 more than they need a backup 5. So we will see. If Metta gets amnestied, I expect that he will go to Brooklyn, and back up Pierce and Garnett. Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, and I think Reggie Evans all went to Boston in the trade.

  32. I can see signing Kaman. Serviceable 7 footers will never go out of style. What I can’t see is giving him the mini mid level. When looking at the Lakers needs that is not where then needed to spend will will be the biggest contract they could give.

    Regarding tanking: It won’t matter. At the rate they are going with no wing speed they will earn their playoff missing mark next season.

  33. not the center I ever envisioned starting or playing for the Lakers, but at least his heart will be in it. Kaman is a good back to basket passer too, but man I always thought he was too ugly to be on this team.

    I’m thinking the Lakers can try their hardest to compete, and tank for #1 at the same time. This season is going to top the last in masochistic appeal. Watching is going to give me coach dunleavy clipper flashbacks.

    Now they (cries of amnesty) want to sacrifice one of our three remaining game 7 heroes, and the only interesting personality to watch on the team while Mamba rehabs.

  34. the other Stephen July 8, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Forget about Andrew Wiggins. Draft Jadaveon Clowney in 2014 instead, and he will bring swift justice to our enemies.

  35. T.Rogers even with the best wing players available we cant get any of them bc we dont have the money for it.Of all the scraps available Kaman is the only one that took a 5 million paycut to be here.Compare with what wings available out there they either are outside our mini mid range or are at the vet mini level,i rather have that mini used in a player that is a proven contributor that has scored in double digits for 9 straight years than some 3rd or 4th string wing hoping that he has a breakout season.It is what it is this season wings on the cheap and praying we get something out of them

  36. if mwp is amnestied, someone will bid for him at the minimum. little chance for him to reach a contender.

  37. The truth of the matter is that Kobe will be out at least until December and his comments of late have indicated he will take his time in coming back, rather than his usual “I will play if I can walk”. In short, it may be that Kobe will not be back until late in the season, certainly hurting any realistic chance at having a meaningful playoff run.

    With this in mind comes word of the Kaman signing. This could mean (1) the Lakers do want to play Pau extensively at the 5 for fear of injury, and they want a serviceable big; or (2) Pau is on his way out.

    I certainly hope #2 is not the case as I love Pau’s professionalism throughout the last few years when his name has been involved in countless trade rumors and when fans decided to make him the scapegoat of failed games/seasons.

    However, this is a business, and Pau’s expiring huge salary has a lot of value to the right team. Maybe Kaman is an insurance policy if the right deal came along for Pau, much in the way Kwame’s expiring deal got us Pau. If that is the case, I will be sad as Pau has earned his respect and place on the team.

  38. I agree with everyone that the Lakers absolutely won’t tank on purpose. I’m just saying that if it were me, and I were running the Lakers, I’d use every trick in the book to gain an advantage. If it means one year of resting Kobe and Pau, developing rookies, what’s really the big deal about a season of losing? Look at Miami? They won 15 games in 2008, yet they’ve been to the finals 3 times in a row.

    I agree with Sanchez that those who think LBJ or Melo will be a Laker in 2014 are likely going to be very disappointed. More likely, Lakers are going to end up like New York or Chicago, or at worst, like Dallas, wedding with no bride.

  39. Lakers17

    The Spurs did not tank to get Duncan- at least there really isn’t any definitive evidence that they did. David Robinson was out for the year and this was their starting line-up. (Robinson missed 76 games that year.)

    Vinney Del Negro
    Carl Herrera/Charles Smith (sometimes)
    Dominique Wilkins/Monty Williams (sometimes)
    Greg Anderson
    Avery Johnson

    The Lakers don’t tank and they shouldn’t start tanking now. IMO it’s a disservice to fans who pay 2k to see the games and it stains the competitive spirit of the league as a whole.

  40. The Lakers have never considered TANKING because they’ve never been in a position before where TANKING was even an option for them and were it not for the fact that for the first time they just watched their future franchise player walk out the door? TANKING wouldn’t be an option now either.

    Certainly trading away players who might help someone else in the near term when you’re focused on the future is nothing new for the Lakers. Don Ford and the rights to Gail Goodrich brought us draft picks that turned into Magic and Worthy.

    Bringing Kobe back to play on a team like this in 2013 is almost sacrilege. Talk him into remaining sidelined until 2014.

    Move Pau, Metta and Nash for 2014 picks or a young future contributor or both. Then fill in the rest of the roster with players from the Good Will or the Salvation Army which is what it’s come down to anyway, and wave the white flag for 2013.

    Hit the reset button and begin fresh in 2014 with Kobe returning, a new coach, hopefully with a high draft pick or two that can have an immediate impact and then go big time after a major free agent or two.

  41. Riceman,dont you think the league would have something to say about such an obvious tankin?

  42. Renato Afonso July 8, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Fern has a point… tanking is not our way. No true lakers fan will root for a tanking team. Remember the early nineties lake show? I expect a team that plays hard regardless of upcoming draft picks who may be the number one overall or not and may pan out or not.

  43. Ken, it’s true that there’s not definitive evidence that Spurs tanked on purpose, but with Pops, you never know. He’s the Bill Belichick of the NBA.

    The Lakers don’t have to “tank”, but I’m with Riceman. Don’t rush Kobe back, build for the future. If that give us a 15 win season, then so be it.

  44. Renato, I remember those teams. Frustrating and not focused on winning. Do you remember “Cancun, Cancun, Cancun”? That was their attitude. Have fun, don’t care if they won, just looking forward to vacation. Is that the type of players you want? Or do you want someone like Kobe or LBJ on your team who can’t take anything less than winning.

  45. The Lakers have never in their history have a 15 win season,there are certain things this organization wont do if its in their power,miss the playoffs or tanking and again this situation is not as bad as when Shaq was traded or Magic sudden retirement,those were situations that let the franchise almost like an meteor crater and still the Lakers recover from those cataclysms fairly quick,this is not even close to that

  46. Always a blast talking to you guys,later

  47. @Fern:

    So you’re saying the league would prevent the Lakers from moving these veterans who are clearly past their prime but could help a number of legitimate contenders this year whilst receiving future considerations and draft picks in return plus get ourselves out of debt?

    What has Dallas been doing the past couple of seasons electing to let Jason Terry and Tyson Chandler and Jason Kidd just walk away after they won a championship? That’s just one example, but what would be the difference between that and the Lakers moving on from Gasol and Nash?

    If the NBA were anywhere near that concerned about the plight of the Lakers they would’ve found a way to prevent Dwight from leaving for Houston in the first place.

  48. “this situation is not as bad as when Shaq was traded or Magic sudden retirement,those were situations that let the franchise almost like an meteor crater and still the Lakers recover from those cataclysms fairly quick,this is not even close to that”

    Well…Let’s see. When Shaq left the Lakers still had a 25 year old Kobe Bryant, and Odom in his prime. I would trade this 2013 roster in a heartbeat for them.

    When Magic Johnson was forced to retire the first time the Lakers still had James Worthy, Sam Perkins, AC Green, Byron Scott, Vlade Divac and Elden Campbell on the roster. Again i would trade this 2013 roster in a heartbeat for that team and it’s not even close.

    Either of those rosters offered many more bright spots than 2013 as it’s presently composed.

  49. That 92 roster was a aging roster too with some pieces similar to this one, so you think the team with Minh and Chucky atkins starting was better than this one? What about the one with Luke, Smush and freaking Kwame is that better than this one too?and that team made the playoffs

  50. Kaman will back up Pau at center. Between them and Jordan Hill (plus Sacre and Kelly), our big man rotation is fine.

    My prediction: the Lakers will spend the next few days (until the 16th) trying to find a suitable SF. If they do, they will amnesty MWP. If not, they will retain him for lack of any other player to man the position. It makes no sense to save $21M when you have no player to fill the vacated spot.

    Still unsigned: Corey Brewer, Ronnie Brewer, Wesley Johnson, Morrow, Ellington, Alan Anderson, Sam Young, Mo Williams