When you heard that center Chris Kaman was a healthy scratch Wednesday, then again Friday night for the Hornets, you wondered what was up. That team is too devoid of talent to just sit a solid center. It’s not a question of effort, say what you will about Kaman he’s trying.
Now we know — the Hornets are trying to trade him.
Although sources stressed to ESPN.com that no deal was imminent, Kaman was not with the team for its home game Friday night against Orlando while the league-owned Hornets field trade calls for him.
The Hornets, sources said, have decided to shelve Kaman until they can find a trade home for him after making the decision to give his minutes to young players.
Teams that are interested include the Rockets, Pacers, Jazz and Spurs, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Houston and the Spurs needs size in the paint and have chased just about every center on the market; the Pacers could use depth behind the emerging Roy Hibbert.
But that $14 million salary will make moving Kaman a challenge because the Hornets only want building blocks back — young players, picks — and are not going to take on more salary. Especially with the league owning the team and trying to sell it. Remember the Hornets drove a hard deal in moving Chris Paul, killing a deal with the Lakers (although I still think pressure from other owners was involved there) and at one point driving the Clippers away from the table by asking for too much.
They may be doing it again, Wojnarowski tweets that other executives are again balking at the price asked.
“They were asking for draft picks, cap space and a young player,” one executive says.
Demps has got a challenge on his hands.
Kaman was part of the trade that sent Chris Paul to the Clippers. It was long assumed the Hornets would eventually try to move him elsewhere. While overpaid at $14 million this season, he is a solid NBA center who can score on the block, defend and rebound (he is averaging 9.2 points and 6.6 rebounds a game this season). Plus he is only 29. There are reasons to want him.