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Clippers Kaman to be out until February. Then what?

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It wasn’t all good news for the Clippers Wednesday night.

Center Chris Kaman — who has played only eight games this season with a severely sprained ankle he has re-injured once — said he will be out until next month, even longer than expected, he told ESPNLosAngeles.

“It’s not right right now so I kind of had to back off of what I’ve been doing a little bit and let it rest a little more,” Kaman said.

“Hopefully right before they leave for that long road trip in February [an 11-game trip that runs Feb. 4-25], I’m going to get back on the court and see how it feels and then based on that, it’ll determine whether I go on that trip or not.”

The Clippers have some longer-term questions to answer about Kaman when he does return.

Kaman had been the starting center, but in his absence the far more athletic DeAndre Jordan has grown into that role. Paired with Blake Griffin he forms what Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called the most athletic front line in the league. In his last 10 games, Jordan is averaging 9.2 points on 73 percent shooting, and is pulling down 9.8 rebounds per game.

When Kaman is ready to return, the Clippers need to bring him off the bench. It’s really the only smart move.

Well, that or see if someone wants to trade for Kaman. When healthy he is a solid center that a number of teams could use. Kaman is set to make $12.7 million next season in the final year of his contract. That is a big expiring deal the same year that a number of big names — Chris Paul, Dwight Howard — could potentially test the free agent market. Due to the injury the Clippers may not be able to get much for Kaman right now, but expect them to solicit offers.

Chris Paul, after breaking finger, intends to play in Clippers preseason game tomorrow

Chris Paul
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Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.

The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.

Here’s confirmation.

Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.

Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.

Report: David Lee, Tyler Zeller in line to start for Celtics; Jared Sullinger, Jonas Jerebko out of rotation

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 08: David Lee of Boston Celtics attacks during the friendlies of the NBA Global Games 2015 basketball match between Real Madrid and Boston Celtics at Barclaycard Center on October 8, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.

It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:

it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.

That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.

Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.

Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.

I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.

This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.