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Chris Kaman agrees to Lakers contract

Jul 8, 2013, 4:59 PM EDT

The Lakers, by definition, were going to downgrade their center position, because they just lost the NBA’s best center. The only question was how big the downgrade would be.

In comparison to Dwight Howard, it’s pretty big.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

Kaman is a pretty uninspiring choice, though it’s not as if there were more inspiring options available. The Lakers have no cap space, and amnestying Metta World Peace would have meant only a slightly larger mid-level exception to use on a free agent.

The Lakers barely made the playoffs last season with an old team and Howard. Now, they’re even older, missing Howard and will likely be without Kobe Bryant for a large part of the season. Kaman, 31, probably won’t turn that downward trajectory, but he at least slows it.

Kaman is a good mid-range shooter for his size, and he should fit well with Pau Gasol. Kaman’s size and strength make him an effective post defender, but he struggles to guard pick-and-rolls.

He’s OK, and that’s about all the Lakers could afford financially. If they’re trying to make the playoffs, I’m not sure they can afford such a downgrade on the court, though.

  1. worldbfree4me - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Okay, enough Laker news. Give us something from the Champions or at least their competitors!

    • bellerophon30 - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:23 PM

      Well Miami’s roster is locked in, unless Birdman gets more money than the mini-mid-level, so there’s not much they can do is there?

      • fanofthegame79 - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:57 PM

        The Heat should lock up Birdman this week. After that, the only roster changes will be if they decide to move Bosh. I don’t see it happening, but that’s about it. Or they can use their amnesty on Mike Miller or Joel Anthony and see if they can get anything with their money.

      • loubearkane - Jul 8, 2013 at 8:38 PM

        I can’t believe more teams aren’t banging on his door offering the mid-level exception. NO is crazy not to have him do the dirty work next to Anthony Davis.

  2. losanginsight - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Hopefully he has heart, he can make free throws,show up every game ready to play, and isn’t scarred of the bright lights in LA.

  3. homegrowntalentmn - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Howard is not the best center…

    • apkyletexas - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      Based on what? The fact that he has the best stats for a center in the league? The fact that he dragged a bad team and a bad coach all the way to the finals recently?

      • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:24 PM

        I wished it was the Finals. But I think you meant the playoffs. The team isn’t bad. There is just a mismatch between the coach and the team.

        If Phil coached this team, I don’t think you will be calling them bad.

      • stayhigh_247 - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:36 PM

        yeah he dragged them there and couldn’t get it done

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 9, 2013 at 2:04 AM

        KOBE dragged them there to the *playoffs foo’! What is you smokin’ on homie??

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:50 PM

      As adults we have to be able to separate his childish antics, his inability to be decisive and many other things and simply look up his stats and compare his numbers to others.

      Yes, he’s a headcase. No question about it.

      As far as what he actually does on the court, he’s the best center in the NBA right now.

      What other centers have led the league in rebounding 5 out of the last 9 yrs? Hint, it can’t be anyone else as even if one led the league in the 4 yrs Dwight didn’t, 4 still isn’t greater than 5.

      Dwight was 14th in FG% last year. True shooting percentage takes into account 2 pt shots, 3 pt shots and yes even free throws. Dwight is currently 17th all time in the NBA in true shooting percentage.

      Dwight has been on the 1st team all NBA 5 of his 9 seasons. Again, this means no other center can top that over the past 9 yrs.

      Dwight is a 3 time defensive player of the year, a 4 time 1st team all defensive team.

      He does all this with being a headcase. His game really hasn’t improved since he’s been in the league, but it’s consistent. His scoring and rebounding numbers are pretty consistent overall in his 9 seasons.

      If he only really worked on his game and improved it. If he had a truly great desire to be dominant, he’d be scary.

      The mental side has a lot to do with sports and it’s why Dwight will never be confused with MJ, Magic, Bird, Kobe, LeBron etc…

      If Dwight had his head in the game so to speak, he is the one who could be pushing LeBron or doing better than LeBron is doing. If Dwight had MJ’s mind, he’d be scary. LeBron is a physical freak but so is Dwight.

      But even though he’s a headcase, his production is pretty damn good.

      Wilt Chamberlain’s career free throw percentage was only .511%. Shaq’s career free throw % is only .527%. Dwight’s is currently .577%.

      • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:27 PM

        Well said. I guess people just question his heart. The kind of heart that we would associate with champions and champion-contenders. Karl Malone and John Stockton never won a title, but can you question their hearts?

      • homegrowntalentmn - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:52 PM

        You wrote all that. Just for me to say Roy Hibbert!

      • loubearkane - Jul 8, 2013 at 8:40 PM

        If Dwight had MJ’s mind there wouldn’t even be a reason to watch. He has to be able to knock down FT’s you can’t have your franchise player on the bench during crunch time because of that.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 11, 2013 at 1:19 AM


        I won’t argue with you about the need to hit free throws. I agree with you about that.

        But Shaq’s career free throw percentage is only .527% and he was most definitely the franchise player when he won his first 3 titles while in LA.

        Dwight’s career free throw percentage is .577%, which is better than Shaq’s so it’s possible to still win championships with that percentage from a go to guy.

        Also, Wilt Chamberlain’s career free throw percentage was only .511% and he did OK too.

  4. lalifer - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Even though I know Lakers can’t do much of anything, I’m still waiting to see the rabbit out of a hat trick. They always seem to come up with it. A news tidbit here and there, but its always uninspiring. I see the reality of just giving up on this coming season, but we’re just not built that way. Just hang on Laker nation. Just hang on.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:26 PM

      The rabbit out of the hat trick is Robert Sacre! Sacre is a legend, right?

    • loungefly74 - Jul 8, 2013 at 11:13 PM

      I like that, man. I feel the same way. its nice knowing the Lakers are always scratching’ n surviving any way they can to stay relevant. worst fear would be to be a fan of a team that does nothing for decade long stretches…(talking to you clipper fans…(hears crickets))

  5. preston0036 - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    Bwaaa Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha #Desperate

    • money2long - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      would you have just said this for anyone they signed ?

  6. asimonetti88 - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    Not as bad of a pick up as you make it seem Dan. The Lakers have very little frontcourt depth before this signing, with only Gasol, Sacre and Jordan Hill, and draft pick Ryan Kelly trying to make the team. The Lakers aren’t going to compete for the championship this year, they need to bridge the gap until they have some financial flexibility to make some moves in 2014. Kaman does that.

  7. makeitnashty - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    This is Great news Laker fans. We should add Odom too. This will just lead to more ping pong balls for the 2014 draft. Suck for Wiggy!

  8. devonlanni - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    All this talk about Dwight Howard is really making me sick. He is only the best Center in the league, if you can even really say that, because there are so few good centers to choose from. He’s an above average player overall but he was never really a good fit for the Lakers. No team will ever win a championship with him as the focal point, as was proven by his days in Orlando, so I really don’t know what all the fuss over him is about.

    As for the Kaman pickup, VERY solid pick up my the Lakers. He can rebound and block shots and he’ll definitely shoot a better percentage from the line than Dwight ever did or will do. He won’t slow down the pace of the game and leave the lakers susceptible to momentum swings like Dwight did so often with his poor free throw shooting. Even more important than that, he won’t be making a ridiculous 20mil per year like Dwight does. Solid move Mitch!

  9. khmerson562 - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    I blame Howard to Houston on David stern. If stern approved cp3 trade to the lakers Howard would sign the Max contract with the lakers.

    • whoevenreallycares - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:16 PM

      Much like MJ Kobe cant play with a traditional PG because he needs the ball to be effective. Nothing wrong with that just stating the obvious.

      • whoevenreallycares - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:19 PM

        Also that vetoed trade, in hindsight, was terrible for New Orleans. Stern was the acting owner of the team. The Clippers package hasn’t exactly been stellar but it is better than the Lakers package.

  10. buffalowned - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    just curious lakers fans…you’re not going to make the playoffs, you’re not going to be bad enough to get andrew wiggins and you’re not going to get lebron next summer. how’s it feel to have nothing to look forward to?

    • money2long - Jul 8, 2013 at 5:59 PM

      are you saying after the summer of 2014, nothing will be happening around the nba? there will be no more movements? things seemed to work well after jordan left…the thing about basketball is that pieces keep revolving. relax. i know you’re looking forward to the demise of the lakers, but after 2014, i assume there will be other good nba players to surface.

    • makeitnashty - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:20 PM

      Not going to be bad enough? You think? Look at the depth chart. Kobe will be in no rush to come back from his injury. They barely made the playoffs with Kobe and Dwight. They will surely be bad enough. Gasol may make the All-Star team, but it won’t lead to wins.

    • Anoesis - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      Pretty funny coming from someone with a handle that includes Buffalo. When’s the last time your teams won anything? Oh, right, I’m forgetting about that legendary lacrosse team, the Buffalo Bandits! Yow, two-time champs! I guess that would make you the expert on nothing-to-look-forward-to.

      The last time Buffalo did anything worthwhile on the national stage was the Pan American Exposition of 1901. And President William McKinley was assassinated at that event. The only thing Buffalo “owned” is four straight Super Bowl losses.

    • loungefly74 - Jul 8, 2013 at 11:15 PM

      yeah…uh…not sure if you noticed, but for a while now…the Lakers seem to pull themselves up quite often…more than any other team in the league the past 30 years…

  11. Kevin Ferrigan - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Poor, poor Lakers fans. This year is going to be brutal. At least they might get Wiggins or Parker!

  12. michaelscarn25 - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    I actually think Chris Kaman + $115 extra million dollars is a far better outcome than Dwight Howard…

  13. dls612 - Jul 8, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    The pickings are slim ay Lakers fans? what a beautiful thing last summer so much trash talk and now crickets and tumbleweeds!

  14. khmerson562 - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    16 champions

  15. rodge1 - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    They’re losing their minds, and I’m reaping all the benefits.

  16. unxpexted1 - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Chris Kaman is a solid big man for any squad when healthy. I know we may not be contending this year but geesh it would be nice to get some young guard play on the Lakers.

  17. aldog83 - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    LAKERS are back! Baby!


  18. Anoesis - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    You know your team has dominated the game for nearly the entire lives of some posters when you see the kind of glee Laker-haters are rolling in. Well, at least I think that’s what they’re rolling in.

    The Lakers have had down years before. 1957-58 when they didn’t make the playoffs. ’74-’75 and ’75-’76 when they didn’t make the playoffs. ’93-’94 when they didn’t make the playoffs. ’04-’05 when they didn’t make the playoffs. That’s it, those are the only times the Lakers didn’t get as far as the playoffs. Five times in 65 years. Oh, woe is us.

    The Lakers could cease operation tomorrow and it would be another lifetime (or two) before many of the teams in the league could get anywhere near the success the Lakers have enjoyed. Yuck it up while you can, stooges, because history has shown that this organization will be right back in the thick of things in no time at all. A down year every decade or so? I think we can weather that.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:38 PM

      *slow clap* Yep. Envy is such a b!@tc*. They come out of the woodwork like roaches when their franchise can’t even accomplish half of what the Lakers has done.

      • spthegr8 - Jul 8, 2013 at 10:09 PM

        @ foul & Anoesis
        They don’t hate us because we suck!!!

      • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jul 8, 2013 at 11:30 PM

        So true, buddy.

        They’re sick and tired of our franchise getting past theirs at their expense…

        … unfortunately for them the Lakers have mostly been doing their homework on a consistent basis. Can they say the same thing?

        Course not.

        Hence the envy which is actually veiled with contempt.

    • loungefly74 - Jul 8, 2013 at 11:17 PM

      nicely said. I’ve said something similar many a times but nothing as clear cut as that! good man!

    • dls612 - Jul 9, 2013 at 5:00 AM

      Is that what helps you sleep at night? That paragraph tells me you’re worried! Enjoy the next several seasons!

      • Anoesis - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:25 AM

        Which paragraph? There are three. Yes, facts always make me feel better, as they reflect truth. And if you need something to sleep at night regarding a sports team that doesn’t even know you exist, well, I feel for you. The next several seasons should be quite entertaining, as my life doesn’t revolve around whether or not a sports team wins a garish trophy.

      • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:46 AM

        Anoesis: The thing is, it’s highly likely that the franchise dis612 is rooting for couldn’t even come up with a garish trophy as much as the Lakers would… hence the bitterness and the disdain towards the Lakers franchise.

        Now tell me, which is even more tragic?

  19. emosnar - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    FOR THE THOUSANDTH TIME!!!! Dwight Howard is not the best center in the league period. As long as he is in the league, he never will be.

    Roy Hibbert, Lopez and after this year Bynum will above him. Howard is over hyped, cant make free throws and his “patented” moves are not reliable. What is reliable is the media hype and truthfully his rebounding and defense. I’ll take Big Hib all day.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jul 8, 2013 at 7:46 PM

      Hands down, Hibbert is way better than Howard.

  20. rodericksilva - Jul 8, 2013 at 11:27 PM

    The Lakers have been in the FINALS 32 times in 65 years. Think about that for a minute. How sick is that?

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jul 8, 2013 at 11:34 PM

      Well, you know how whippersnappers would react to that. We see through the lenses of one who sees the larger scheme of things. The haters? They see things short term.

  21. tcclark - Jul 9, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    The Center position in the NBA is so laughably bad that this isn’t that big of a downgrade. Yes, player to player Kaman is a big drop off from Dwight Howard, but considering the other starting centers in the NBA and Chris Kaman is actually one of the better ones. This guy was an all-star just three years ago. He’s a good teammate and know LA well from his years with the Clippers. He’ll fit in nicely. This is a good pickup by the Lakers.

    And as for the best center in the league conversation. The difference between Dwight Howard and Roy Hibbert is simple – 4 years of college. Hibbert is a mature center with more refined skills than Dwight. Dwight gets by on pure athleticism because he never learned the fundamentals in college like Hibbert did. He also didn’t have a chance to grow up like so many kids do in school. Dwight is a more talented player, but because Hibbert took his time and honed his craft in college, he is a better center. Make the kids stay in school!

  22. michflaguy - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:26 AM

    Wow…in one week the Lakers went from Dwight Howard to Chris Kamen.
    I’d say the Lakers are officially in a 5-year rebuilding phase!

  23. omniusprime - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    Kobe Bryant should understand that with Kaman the Laker’s mismanagement has decided to throw in the towel on winning championships. Yet another worthless addition to the Lakers from Jerky Boy Jimmy Buss, the most incompetent leader the team has ever had.

    If Kobe’s smart he’ll retire from the Lakers and the NBA when his current contract runs out and go enjoy a few seasons playing in Italy, a working vacation as it were.

    What we’re seeing here is Kupcake caving in to Dumbtoni by giving him the small-ball team he wants to coach. Only the King of the Kingdom of Idiots would think that an aged team like the Lakers can run small ball, that’s for much younger teams to do. I’ve already written the Lakers off for this season and for the foreseeable future, the punk son dishonors Dr. Jerry Buss by trying to do it his stupid way instead of following his father’s great legacy of championship teams with great centers.

    I sure as heck won’t bother to watch the train wreck that will be the upcoming Laker season and again will not watch other NBA games.

    Asta La Vista Lakers!

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      Booooo!!! Boooooo!!! *throwing tomatoes* Boooooooo!^

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