Chris Kaman, after doing it with the Mavericks last season, knows playing on a one-year contract comes with all kinds of complications. Before the season, he said:
There’s just so many things that can happen, and the biggest one is that you’re on a one-year deal and you’re worried about it the whole time and it stresses you out.“But you’ve got to just play basketball. That’s what I’ve been doing for 10 years and that’s what I’m trying to focus on doing now.”
Easier said than done.
Kaman hasn’t played in 11 of the Lakers’ last 12 games, even though he says he’s healthy. And that gets frustrating.
“It’s absolutely not what I was looking for,” Kaman told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Monday morning after the Lakers’ shootaround. “It’s not really in my control. I just try to keep working hard and be ready if the time comes. And if it doesn’t, then it just wasn’t meant to be.”
“I haven’t,” Kaman said, when asked if he’d heard from the Lakers or anyone else about whether he’d be moved. “The conversations I’ve had have been, ‘Let’s stick with it. Let’s play it out a little more. Let’s see where things go.’ So I just try to be ready and be positive. I’m not going to let it take away from me having fun and being a good person. I just do the best I can with what I’ve got.”
“Never did I think I would come here and not play, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have come,” Kaman said. “I had a bunch of other options, but I saw opportunity here.”
Kaman clearly didn’t assess his situation properly last summer. The Lakers signed Kaman not necessarily because they were enthralled with him, but because they had so few options.
I’m sure the Lakers told Kaman they coveted him, but he should have realized they might be saying that only because they couldn’t get anyone better.
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Kaman should also realizing he’s not even the Lakers’ top priority when it comes to unhappy big men. They’ll figure out what to do with Pau Gasol, another center who’s not a great fit in Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo system, before Kaman lands on the radar.
It might be hard for him to accept, but Kaman is a bit player at this point. There are some teams that would give him a bigger role, but not many.