Chris Kaman Rental, Anyone?

Chris Kaman is reportedly available. So available, in fact, that the Hornets will not play him until they trade him. Given his injury history, this is awfully nice of them.

Anyone interested? Kaman expires at the end of this year, so this could possibly be a short-term rental. But it accomplishes a few things:

* It provides the post depth we've been lacking all season. That extra center body off the bench, perhaps that guy Bird has been looking for to get at a discount, could be Kaman.

* It provides us with a fallback plan in case Roy Hibbert's asking price is too high this summer. Kaman and Stanko could piecemeal out Roy's production.

* It provides us with a legitimately good backup center, who should be playing an important role on a roster somewhere (not just sitting around waiting to be traded).

The biggest downside to Kaman is obviously his health. He's missed 107 games since the start of the 2008 season. But he's healthy now, and he'll be looking to produce over the final few months of his contract in order to secure some long-term money on a winner. At worst, if Indiana acquired him in hopes of infusing some size and experience into our post rotation for a playoff run, and he got injured, he'd be a highly expensive waste of a roster spot. This is not much different than Jeff Pendergraph, who is a very inexpensive waste of a roster spot. The Pacers have the money to acquire Kaman in a virtual salary dump. Trading him straight up for any expiring contract on our team, or simply offering a second round draft pick (or both, like a combination of Price and a second, or Amundson and a second) would work financially.

While the Pacers probably aren't wiling to give up the pieces necessary to make the Hornets much better in a trade for Kaman, not many teams will, as he's expiring at the end of the season, and his health is a concern. I don't know what they're expecting for him, but a second rounder and $12-14 million in instant savings sounds like about as good an offer as they're going to see from anyone. I've already read the Spurs are interested, but I haven't seen who they might be willing to trade to get Kaman. We have a leg up on them, though, because they are several million dollars over the salary cap and have no good salary to give back to New Orleans (all they have is long contracts and an expiring Tim Duncan). I'm not sure the Hornets' motivation to trade Kaman now, but shipping him here in a salary dump is a win-win. It would take them from over the cap to under the salary floor, but give them the financial flexibility to absorb someone in a trade that helps convince Eric Gordon to stick around.

Personally, I think a 2nd rounder (or perhaps even two second rounders) for him is both fair and smart. We've seen the Pacers struggle without Foster. Look what happened last night when Hibbert had his first bad game in a long time. Kaman, who was very recently a borderline All-Star, could flourish for 20 minutes per night. If Bird could swing acquiring him in a salary-dump, the Pacers would suddenly look smarter than all of these cap strapped contenders (with no trade exceptions) who will want him but can't figure out a trade that works. This is the sort of move that would make that extra roster spot, and all those extra millions we've been holding onto, make sense.

What say you?

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