Hours after it was reported the San Antonio Spurs are interested in free agent forward Kenyon Martin, who is stuck in China waiting to be rescued by Jack Bauer, the Spurs may have a bigger target on their radar. ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting the New Orleans Hornets are actively shopping center Chris Kaman.
Stein reports that Kaman, who was not at New Orleans Arena for the Hornets' 93-67 victory over the Orlando Magic and has been informed by the team he will not dress while the team and Kaman's representation look for a trade partner for the center.
"We've informed Chris that we are looking into possible trades and he was understanding about the situation," Hornets GM Dell Demps said. "We're working together on this."
"Chris has been the ultimate professional since he joined us. In no way is this a disciplinary action. We had discussions about extending his current contract when he first came to the Hornets, but the organization decided to go in a different direction."
Once that news broke, Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Rockets, Pacers, Jazz and Spurs were among the teams interested in Kaman. Woj also tweeted that the Hornets had previously been asking for an expiring contract, a draft pick AND a young piece. I would think that at this point they'd be happy with getting one of two of pieces in return.
The Spurs have a draft pick they can give up. They also have young players they could part with. But the only expiring contract they have is a guy named Tim Duncan. Chris Kaman makes $14 million this season, so that further complicates finding a trade partner for the Hornets. As Project Spurs' resident ESPN Trade Machine wizard, I went ahead and plugged in some possible deals.
First things first, without involving a third team that had a ton of cap room, Richard Jefferson has to be involved in this deal. I know most Spurs fans would be completely OK with this, but the more important question is would New Orleans? With that in mind here's what I came up with:
Chris Kaman for Richard Jefferson, Matt Bonner and Cory Joseph: I don't think any fan would be devastated to see any of these three go, but it would take away two of the Spurs three best shooters and leave them without a back up point guard for the time being. I think the Spurs would work around that if it meant getting Kaman for at least a the rest of this season, not to mention the cap room they'll get this summer. However, to do this you would have to convince the Hornets that Cory Joseph is a future starting point guard and convince them that Jefferson and Bonner's shooting is worth taking on the extra $42 in payroll after this season. So unless Demps, a former Spurs assistant GM can't find anything better or wants to do his old employer a solid, this one probably isn't happening.
Chris Kaman for Richard Jefferson, James Anderson and Cory Joseph: This one is a little more palatable for the Hornets because they're taking back way less payroll and get two young pieces in their backcourt. The Spurs would be trading a lot of their wing depth in Jefferson and Anderson and would in turn be relying on Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to be their small forwards for the rest of the season. You and I might be OK with this, not sure how OK with it Pop is. Warning, this next one might be tough for all of you to swallow.
Chris Kaman for Richard Jefferson, Cory Joseph and Danny Green: Yeah I know, Danny Green is the second coming Stephen Jackson without the crazy (or something), but this one might get it done. Joseph and Green especially are two guys who have shown they can be players in this league. Kaman is a proven low post scorer who can also hit an 18 foot jumper. The Spurs are also deep enough at the guard position that they could recover from Joseph and Green's absence especially when Manu Ginobili and TJ Ford get back from injury. Hornets would also shave about three million bucks off their payroll this year as well.
Here's why I would do any of these three trades. In Kaman you get a guy who can score from a lot of different places. This means you could play any combination of Duncan, Splitter and Kaman (with some DeJuan Blair sprinkled in) at any point in a game. They become better on defense simply because they have a guy who is a huge body who can rebound and defend the block. That's three above average low post defenders not to mention three productive seven footers. And if it doesn't work out the Spurs have managed to clear enough cap space for a max contract this coming summer, which gives them a ton of flexibility moving forward. Losing a Danny Green or Cory Joseph might be tough for some Spurs fans to swallow, but trust me, this is better in the short term and long term.
Don't trade Bonner. The Spurs don't have a reliable last second scorer when the game in on the line other than Manu. Bonner is a proven scorer who can get you points when the game is on the line. Green is a young player who might transition into a real gamer but I terms of gaining Kaman and losing Green, I don't think the Spurs would miss Green much compared to losing Bonner's clutch shooting.
Where is Ryan Richards? I've seen some film online and I think the kid can be a legit player. I can't imagine his contract being much in terms of buyout, and would love to at least see him in the D League, getting some polish. Can rebound, block shots, score around the hoop, and appears to have range out to 18-20ft. Wonder why they haven't brought him over yet....
What are you, an idiot? NO nor anyone else is gonna take Blair, Bonner & Joseph. Grow a brain! Chris Kaman blows. $14 million for a dude who averages 9 points, 6 boards & 1 block. This loser can't help us win a title, & certainly isn't worth trading Green &/or Anderson & a draft pick. Glad y'all ain't the Spurs GM. Tim Duncan is the greatest PF to play. When he was in his prime the Spurs could get away with a Rasho or Nazr. The frontcourt help Timmy could use isn't named Kaman. If the right center/power forward can't be found, then don't make a stupid move.
@SpurGuy If you are calling Kaman a loser, then I seriously question your critical thinking abilities. Dude has career averages of 11.7, 8.3 and 1.4, pts, rebounds and blocks, respectively - exactly what this roster needs.He's numbers are down this year because he isn't getting the same minutes. Even with the emergence of Splitter, we are still dangerously thin at the PF/C spot. Come playoff time, we really need a big who can rebound, block shots and play physical, especially if we have another matchup with Memphis, LA, or OKC. If the Spurs could work out a trade involving a combination Blair/Anderson/Bonner/Joseph and draft picks, then it would be a worthwhile investment. The old Spurs D was predicated on hedging the perimeter shooters and funneling them inside, where TWO BIGS patrol the paint. Pop knows this, hence the reason they are looking at Martin and Kaman. Blair, although I love his hustle, is not that guy. Nor is Bonner. However, at this point, I'd say Green would be hard to move, but if so, Anderson has shown a lot of ability, and I believe the Spurs net gain would be worth it.
If the Lakers can get Pau Gasol a couple of years back for basically a bunch of bums,why can't the Spurs get Kaman. Demps is a former Spur so just hook us up take some draft picks and call it a day. The hornets aren't going to win no time soon anyway.
@ZILLA The Grizzlies got Marc Gasol and Marc is playing better than Paul so maybe the Grizzlies knew what they were doing. Having had a young team they didn't need a veteran. Now Marc has come Into his own right along with all of the other young Grizzlies.
The way Anderson,Green are playing tonight I wouldn't trade any of those guys, with the Spurs main guns on the bench their holding the fort down. They shouldn't trade Joseph either he could be the point guard of the future maybe some draft picks what about those draft picks they got in the trade for G.Hill Lorbek,Bertans, it's another guy can't remember his name, maybe that could work.
good article, Trevor. i wouldn't mind trying to get Kaman. as you mentioned, if it doesn't work out, he'll be off the books after this season, as well as Duncan's contract. at least we would have a shot at getting a good free agent.
How about this? Bonner, Blair and Joseph. then you have a lower cap this season and 2 young guys with starter potential. Then you focus your attentions on bringing nando de colo over now. That way Colo gets extra play time with parker that would hopefully speed up his development. Plus Enough of the RJ hating, he's doing better this year and we need to support him. Heck if spurs fans gave RJ 1/10 the support that they are still giving George Hill who is now a Pacer, mabey he would be doing a bit better.
@TylerCameron Bonner, Blair & Joseph combined salary this season is approx. 5.3 million. Keeping RJ and offloading those player and taking over Kamans 14 million dollar would put the spurs deep into luxury tax. And 3rd most expensive roster in the NBA trailing only the lakers and orlando. I like RJ, but if the Spurs want to make a trade move involving big contracts such as this - he has to go.
@TylerCameron It's not like I (or any posters that I have read today) dislike RJ - I am a fan of AZ basketball and want him to succeed in silver and black, but he has a contract that makes sense to swap for Kaman and also is the most replaceable starter. Personally, I just don't believe we can make a run at a title until we address our defensive rebounding and shot blocking; RJ does neither.
Where does Richard Jefferson fit in to what they want? "They've been asking for an expiring contract, a draft pick AND a young piece"
But yes. Kaman is on a 14million dollar deal. So Spurs have to loose someone who makes alot of money. I don't see this working out unless they sign something they don't want in RJ.
I'd love to get Chris, that would be amazing. But Spurs will not get him cause they don't have the proper trading pieces. He's going to Houston.
What they are asking is like a sticker price at a car dealership - always a starting point for negotiation; Houston has cap space and could probably eat Kaman's contract, but Spurs have more young players and picks to compensate. Jefferson is the part of the deal that makes it work for the Spurs, while the value add for NO would be picks and additional players if need be.We may not like what the Spurs have to give up to get there (Green/DeJuan), but I think if we are going to try and win another with Duncan/Gino/Parker, we need t o fix the interior. Also, a big part of the reason they are trading Kaman is because of a glut of big men, not SF's. Last look at their roster - RJ is an improvement and would be serviceable for a 3-4 more years. Plus, Demps has worked with Pop before and may give him a buddy deal, while still improving NO for the future. I just don't agree that the Spurs are out of the running for him, especially in a position of need.
This was a move I had hoped the Spurs were going to pull off before the season started. Part of the problem with our defense the last few years has been the inability for the perimeter players to funnel the ball handlers/slashers inside, and have 2 big bodies to guard the paint. This will allow our wings to close out the opposing shooters more aggressively, without fear of giving up an easy dunk/lay up. With the limited time Duncan and Splitter are on the court together, Bonner and Blair don't scare anyone in the paint. Say what you want about Nesterovich and Mohammed, but they were legit bigs who could block/alter shots. I think Kaman will instantly improve an area Coach Pop has been bemoaning the whole year, and fits better with a Duncan or Splitter since he can step out and shoot the 18 footer. I think we really need some inside help come playoff time, especially if we get a Memphis matchup again, or see the Lakers as currently constructed; more so if Howard ends up in piss yellow and hooker bruise purple.
Kaman would definitely be an upgrade at the Center position for us. And I like him with Tiago and Tim down on the block. However, I know that we would have to include RJ to make the numbers work. I think losing RJ would hurt us more than people think. When the spurs traded for him I know most people thought we would have a "Big Four" with RJ having the possibility of dropping 20 on any given night. Unfortunately, he hasn't been able to do that and in that sense he has been sort of a disappointment. But I think this year he has been pretty consistent in the role that the Spurs have asked him to play. He came out the gates firing and the last few games he's dropped off some, but overall he's fulfilling the role required. If we lose him, who would step in at SF? Kawhi? JA? We can't rely so much on the young guns, they'll perform some nights, but they're young and inexperienced and they WILL make mistakes. And don't forget we still won't have Manu back for some time either. I mean I love Kawhi's intangibles, dude hustles, can grab a board out of nowhere, but let's be honest he CAN"T shoot the ball. His shot is flat and asking him to do the things RJ does on the offensive end will be tough. Same goes for JA or whoever steps in. So I'm kind of iffy about the trade. But I definitely see the positive behind the trade as the spurs could use that added size from Kaman.
@jayt6 I just think if we lose Danny Green, we will have ZERO ball-handlers on the floor when TP subs out. Neal is a SG, we cannot and should not force him to play PG. We have to have someone on the floor who can dribble and set up the offense. With TJ and Manu out, Green is the guy. If we lose him, we have to sign someone else or get someone from the D-League for can be PG. Hey, if Chip England can turn Tiago's free throws from last year (54%) to this year (around (73%), he can fix Kawhi's shot. The man worked a miracle on Tiago!
RJ unfortunately, after another hot start, has cooled down. He's now averaging 10.7 ppg. That's a steady decline from 12.3 to 11.1 to 10.7. This is also as best as it's going to get for RJ with Manu out and Kawhi yet to challenge him for his spot. This should be RJ's time to shine, but he keeps underperforming like last night, where he scored 10 in the first quarter and then failed to record another point for the rest of the game. That type of inconsistency is unacceptable for the amount we are paying him. I think I read in an article on 48 Minutes of Hell about "Moneyball" in the NBA and how things like 3 point shooting are undervalued. Right now, we are paying RJ to shoot the 3 and play good defense. Once Neal gets back into the rhythm of things, he is as good a 3 point shooter as RJ. Kawhi and Green can pick up the defense. We should be able to get much more for the money we pay RJ, and Kaman could be the missing piece we need.
@CraigThomas I definitely agree with what you're saying. I'm just hopeful that the young guys will step it up when asked to. Sometimes their inconsistencies on both ends of the floor just worry me.
All the guys we lose are role players, except maybe RJ. This means they are replaceable. Have you watched what the Toro's roster is doing. Dentman is much farther along than CJ, Butler is on par with JA, L Thomas is not a bad 3-4 guy and one of the other 4's is a ball handler, 3pt shooter, fair reboiunder at 6'9", with hops.
I just am not sold on Kaman. He doesn't look like the same guys who used to battle TD, maybe its the system, but NO has a reason for giving upon him, and he is over 30yrs old.
@CraigThomas His contract expires this summer.
@yowhatupT Thanks. That makes me wonder though, why would the Hornets try to trade him now if not to improve. It's not like they are dumping salary?
@yowhatupT Yeah, I saw you wrote that they wanted an expiring contract in return which sort of doesn't make sense if Kaman's contract is already expiring. Maybe the Spurs go long-term for Kaman and sign him to MLE after his contract expires this summer? That sounds like an R.C. thing to do.
@CraigThomas Yeah, what I forgot to write in the post was if the Spurs don't work something out for Kaman why not turnaround & say "Alright, what about Okafor?" His contract has 3 years left.
The loss (2nd time) to the timberwolves last night shown things in the rotation. Green has some lucky nights and not utilizing the roster to the fullest. When some of the big guys is off, insert Malcolm Thomas instead.. Coach Pops keeps on using Green. Why not try James Anderson. He deserves another chance. When Blair, Splitter or TD has off nights, why not use Thomas instead of Bonner? Now comes a possible trade for Kris Kaman. Breaking the rotation is hard, but RJ, Green and C. Joseph have to go. There were moves to amnesty RJ, so nows the time, add Green and Joseph. I know the option on Anderson was not picked up, but he is a better shooter than Green. He deserves another chance.
No. I'd rather do this... RJ, CJ, and DJB. DJB isn't playing too much when it counts. He's the reason why they can't rotate him in some combos. Why do we need to accommodate him? If Bonner goes off this playoffs then we would have done the wrong thing by trading him. Plus he's 6'10" regardless of his athleticism. He's due to take the monkey off his back in the playoffs. You got him shooting 3's and Timmy, Spliter, and Kaman controlling the paint to mention more trips to the rim if Bonner gets off.
@yowhatupT excellent ideas. It would be tough to lose CJ or Green, but def worth it in long run. Good job!
@yowhatupT RJ, Bonnert, and Joseph is the best option IMO. I could totally see it happening. Hurts Spurs the least IMO
ok so the BIGGEST issue i have with any of this....... rtesoro is going to talk all kinda crap about how "i told you the spurs needed/wanted another pf/center. same for the kmart stuff!!!!!!
The spurs really need another big man my friend. Closing our eyes or looking the other way won't help the cause of the spurs. What is your issue about having a big guy anyway? You a dwarf?
@rtesoro440@JohnAbney see i dont disagree fully. i dont think the bigs situation is nearly as bad as you make it out to be though. the bigs have actually played pretty well, better then most teams in the league, the biggest problem IMO is perimeter defense. teams are not beating us with bigs. last nights game went bad on the outside, not the inside with the exception of blairs 0-2, and tims 2-12, the twolves bigs did the same thing to us that they do to every other team. hell the spurs actually held love well below his ppg average. rubio killed the spurs when the game counted, thats not on the bigs, thats on tony and his band of wings.
@rtesoro440 @JohnAbney So make up your mind, just up above your talking about the spurs can just get a pg from the dleague yet here your talking about we have to have and experienced pg. your always talking about letting cj, Anderson and such get playing time so they can learn but now you blame him for being in the game. Rubio didn't just go off on Joseph, he went off on Parker.
Rubio had his way because joseph is inexperience. Better to move him and get somebody with expe]irience.
@JohnAbney@rtesoro440 But it was mainly off of pick-and-rolls where we got killed. We need a big who can hedge on the picks long enough for our guards to get over the screen or a big who can challenge the driver with his shot blocking on weak-side defense. Duncan is too slow to hedge all the way out like that, and Bonner and Blair offer little resistance at the rim for the man driving to the basket. That is why we need a big, to help on pick and rolls which torture the Spurs every game.