Chris Kaman reportedly agreed to a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, so Pau Gasol #16 will now be teammates with the 7'0" center. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Chris Kaman; Pau Gasol
After Dwight Howard announced he was leaving the Los Angeles Lakers, the team has started to move forward with Plan B. What is Plan B? Apparently, it involves Chris “The Caveman” Kaman joining the team on a one-year contract, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.
The 31-year-old 7-footer was most famous for his eight seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers. After two less-than-impressive seasons with the New Orleans Hornets and Dallas Mavericks, Kaman appears headed to the Lakers as Howard’s replacement at center (I cannot believe I just wrote that).
Although he was never truly regarded as a top-tier center, Kaman’s career year saw him averaging 18.5 points and 9.3 rebounds with the Clippers during the 2009-10 season. That year, he even earned a nod to the All-Star team.
Last year, however, Kaman averaged 10.5 points and 5.6 rebounds in only 20.7 minutes per game. Whether the newest Laker starts or comes off the bench remains to be seen, but he is a welcomed addition to a thin frontcourt currently composed of Pau Gasol, Robert Sacre, and Jordan Hill. Lamar Odom appears to be another target for the Lakers.
Whether the Lakers opt to play with twin towers next season remains to be seen, but if they do, Kaman will likely be a starter. His reported one-year contract still provides the Lakers with tremendous salary cap flexibility in the summer of 2014, when LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and a host of other top-tier free agents expect to hit the open market.
The Lakers are currently positioned to only have one player on the books during the summer of 2014 -- Steve Nash. Prior to Howard’s departure, the Lakers' hope was to use the cap space combined with Howard to attract a top name. With Howard bailing, the Lakers will hope to use the extra cap space to attract two big names and construct a winner from the ground up.
For the 2013-14 season, however, Kaman is a positive move. He is actually the Lakers' first free agent signing, so any move is positive in helping the franchise move forward following the “Dwightmare.”