The usual pattern goes like this: Team tries hard to trade overpriced veteran player, then if they find no takes they buy him out after the trade deadline. Then he signs elsewhere for the minimum (or fades into the sunset)
That’s not going to be the pattern with Chris Kaman of the Hornets.
New Orleans has tried to trade him for a month but they couldn’t find any takers. The price they asked for a good big man but an expensive one ($14 million) who can walk as a free agent at the end of the season was too steep.
But they are not going to buy him out. The Times-Picayune got GM Dell Demps to say that, although in about the most wishy-washy way possible.
“Everything is always a possibility,” Demps said. “I mean there’s no reason to say I’m certain, 100 percent sure. There’s always a possibility. I never want to say never. But our intention is to keep Chris.”
Here are the two reasons they are not buying him out.
One, he’s playing pretty well. In his last 10 games he has averaged 15.8 points and 9.7 rebounds a game, plus dishing out 3.1 assists per contest. He’s been solid defensively. He’s probably been the best Hornets player. You keep guys like that (unless you are trying to tank, which the Hornets probably should do but can’t as they are owned by the league right now).
Second, the other owners would not allow Kaman to be bought out. Remember, saying the league owns the Hornets really means the other owners actually own the Hornets. If New Orleans bought out Kaman and made him a free agent he’d sign with the Heat within days, giving them the solid big man in the middle they lack. You think the other owners are going to help the Heat get better? They hate what the Heat did. They will block them? Remember Chris Paul to the Lakers? Same thing here.
So Kaman will stay with the Hornets. And there’s a decent chance that when he does become a free agent he re-signs in New Orleans.