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Clippers put Chris Kaman on the trade block

Feb 1, 2011, 12:44 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

Any team need a center with a .50 caliber rifle at home? Of course, who doesn’t?

Last season, Chris Kaman was an All-Star. In truth that was due to injuries which forced the Clippers to run their offense through him. He was putting up a quality 18.5 points and 9 boards a game (even still he wasn’t really terribly efficient, just the best option the Clippers had left).

And now he can be yours.

There had been whispers around Staples Center that Kaman was available and Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro basically confirmed that in comments reported by Los Angeles Daily News.

“It depends on what is out there, if there is someone we feel makes us a better team,” Coach Vinny Del Negro of the 7-footer, whose contract (he makes something just short of $12 million annually) is due to expire after next season. “We’re not in a position not to take a look at everything. It’s nothing against Chris. He has tremendous skills. I love him and we need him. But if there is something that would help improve the L.A. Clippers, we would look at anything. The cornerstones of this team, obviously, are Blake (Griffin) and Eric Gordon. And as we move forward we want to have the best pieces around them. And Chris is a very good piece but we’ve not seen a lot of him because he’s been injured.”

With Kaman out most of this season (he’s played in just 10 games and there currently is no timetable for his return from an ankle injury) the far more athletic DeAndre Jordan has grown into the starter’s role. Paired with Blake Griffin he forms one of the more athletic front lines in the league. The Clippers are keeping those two together.

It makes Kaman dispensable. And there certainly are teams that could use a big man in the middle — Kaman really shouldn’t be thought of as an All-Star but he is solid when healthy.

The challenge is Kaman is set to make $12.7 million next season in the final year of his contract. That means some team has to want him bad enough to pay the price, literally. If there is a team wanting to get in the 2012 free agent sweepstakes — possibly including Chris Paul, Dwight Howard and Deron Williams — they might have interest in Kaman as an expiring deal. But heading into an uncertain financial future teams will be hesitant to take on that much salary.

Still, Kaman is out there on the trade block. We at least know that, now.

  1. thestudiokida - Feb 1, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    DeAndre Jordan is better. He & Blake Superior will make a great big man tandem for years to come.

  2. passerby23 - Feb 1, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    I agree that keeping DeAndre Jordan makes a lot more sense at this point making Kaman expendable, but Kaman is still a pretty solid player who could help a lot of teams. If they get a quality player in return, this is a potential playoff team.

  3. bigtrav425 - Feb 1, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    When healthy..keyword..WHEN….he is pretty close to a all star 19 and 9 every night is pretty good.

  4. thestudiokida - Feb 1, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Clippers could make the playoffs this season. 6 games back from Portland; they won’t make it so I’m only worried about the Grizzlies for that 8 spot. Clips should go after Iguodala or any other good small forward they can get their hands on.

  5. jimsjam33 - Feb 2, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Tayshaun Prince would make the Clippers an elite NBA team with Baron Davis , Eric Gorden , DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin . There would not be a better starting five in basketball and that includes the Heat , Celtics, Lakers , and Spurs . Kaman for Prince !

    • thestudiokida - Feb 2, 2011 at 11:57 AM

      Tayshaun Prince? Best starting 5 in basketball? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve EVER heard. WTF, man? Are you on drugs?

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