Outside the box Kaman trade ideas

Published: January 31, 2012

In honor of the Trade Machine relaunching today on ESPN.com, we look at the pros and cons of some crazy Chris Kaman trade ideas

The prevailing logic has been that the Hornets want to get younger, dump salary, and pick up draft picks by moving Kaman. But what if they went another direction, or added another big name Hornet to the mix? I have brought in my coworkers to set me straight on my crazy ideas, as they play the conservative role in an election year. Let’s explore some outside of the box ideas:

1. Hornets trade Chris Kaman and Emeka Okafor to the Wizards for JaVale McGee and Rashard Lewis 

Why the Hornets should do it: Yes, this is an actual rumor passed down from a guy I know who deals a lot with the Eastern Conference, but it is outside-the-box nonetheless. Technically this trade cannot be done until mid-February, due to the fact that Kaman can not be packaged with other players right now, but why not do this trade? Emeka Okafor has been playing better as of late, I will admit that, but his contract is simply too much for this team to have on its books. He is due 13.5 million next year and 14.5 million the year after that. Yes, I know Rashard Lewis has one of the worst deals ever, but it comes off the books a year sooner than ‘Mek’s and there is even a $10 million buyout option next year.

Meanwhile, McGee gives you a guy who has the potential to grow into an above average center in the league if he can get his head on straight. And if not… who cares? Just decline to match any offers he might get in restricted free agency this summer or let him walk in 2013. Worst case scenario is that you enter the summer of 2013 with 14.5 million more to spend than you currently have projected right now.

Why the Hornets should pass (Jason Calmes): McGee and Lewis are both undesirables for different reasons. Despite the fact that the money `works’ and we have to maintain a minimum salary, the potential help you get in 2013 a la Summer 2006 may not manifest, or not actually if help should it come to pass, if the team and its reputation is ruined by the division caused by a cocky kid and a guy that is more overpaid than anything thinks Emeka is by a margin that is around the degree to which Jabba is fatter than Leia.

This team is almost imaginary right now. There is a misty outline that we can faintly see only because Monty’s dream, good or bad, is so very vivid. Today, that’s all we have. Tomorrow, that’s all we have. We shouldn’t risk smashing that on the ground without a very good reason.

All moves are partly basketball, partly business, but after all the business this team has been drug through backwards and forwards, we need some basketball around here to get back on an even keel.

2. Chris Kaman and Carl Landry for Greg Oden, Nolan Smith, Luke Babbitt and Marcus Camby

Why the Hornets should do it: Basically, you do this trade so you can kick the tires on Greg Oden. He won’t be able to play this year and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but you get a chance to have him checked out by your doctors and specialists. Maybe they give the thumbs up and he falls in love with Monty and Dell the way most players do and takes a 2-3 year offer.

Nolan Smith and Babbitt are two more guys that create competition and maybe one of them sticks. Remember this trade can’t go through for a couple more weeks anyway (not to mention the fact that Landry and Oden would have to agree to it as well), but it is one that could pay off big down the road.

Why the Hornets should pass (Jason Calmes): The obvious knock on this is the specter of injury with Oden if he doesn’t fall apart when you kick the tires, but the engine explodes when you pull into Cane’s to get a celebratory “Box” after inking the big man. He’s already given up about $7.5m this season (not lockout adjusted), and while that shows that he understands that he’s played 82 games in what will amount to nearly 4 seasons, it also shows that he’d like to make up about $7.5m.

Camby would be a nice pick-up, but his deal is one year too short, the opposite of the Emeka contract issue. We need to find a Goldi-blocks, not too hot, not too cold. Swapping his expiring for Carl’s does little for us. Camby will be looking for more than a 1y deal given his age and the tax rule changes slamming down prior to the 2013 – 2014 season. Getting us into a position so we’ll have a center next season should be find a taker for Emeka would be a better move, even if said player isn’t of Camby’s quality. I’d pass on this chance to keep our Clipper quotient where it is.

3. Chris Kaman and Jarrett Jack for Corey Maggette, DJ Augustin, and DeSagna Diop

Why the Hornets should do it: The Hornets eat two awful salaries and send away Jarett Jack, who is having a career year, for the chance to land a point guard who can be a mainstay at the position for the next ten years. The Bobcats are eventually going to build around Kemba Walker at the point, and are reluctant to give Augustin starter’s money, so getting out from under the nearly 19 million owed to Maggette and Diop next year is worth it for them.

The Hornets books will be a mess next year, but will clear up just in time for the 2013 free agent class. They could be looking at Augustin, Gordon, and three lotto picks (from this year and next), plus guys on cheap deals (Ayon, Aminu, Smitty, Vasquez), and they will still have some money to hand out to free agents.

Why the Hornets should pass (Mason Ginsberg): I simply don’t see the up-side in any of the players the Hornets would be getting in return here. If the point of dealing Kaman is to get either young talent or a draft pick, it’d be difficult to find a more unsatisfying deal. The lone bright spot would be bringing back a local product in DJ Augustin who the fans would appreciate and would likely stick around for the long haul, but apart from that, it would be a pretty empty trade for New Orleans.

Augustin is obviously the main chip here for Charlotte, but quite frankly, I don’t see his ceiling as being much higher than his current level of play. He’s a slightly above-average point guard; good passer and free throw shooter, average scorer at best, awful defender, and I’m not sure if he’s actually even 6 feet tall. As for the other two? Maggette has been a total disaster this season; he may be one of the few players who would make me cringe more than Belinelli starting with Ariza at the wing positions. At least Diop fills a need for our deep front court this season – a big man that doesn’t deserve any minutes whatsoever. I think that the Hornets can almost certainly find a better deal than this one with the future in mind.

4. Chris Kaman for Andris Biedrins, Ekpe Udoh, and Klay Thompson

Why the Hornets should do it: The Hornets take on the extra two years of Biedrins contract to get two of the guys they targeted in the Chris Paul trade. Udoh has potential as a defensive minded big who can play the 4 and 5, while Monty and Dell both love Klay Thompson’s game. Thompson can evolve into an electric scorer off the bench and he also gives you a fall back option should Gordon want out and the Hornets move him for someone like Granger.

Why the Hornets should pass (Jake Madison): Out of all the trade possibilities this is my favorite but I wouldn’t pull the trigger on this for a two reasons. Udoh and Thompson have potential to be solid rotation players. However, with all the young talent the Hornets aquired in the Chris Paul trade, and the players they will add through the draft, the last thing they need is more youngsters in need of playing time. I’d much rather move Kaman for an expiring contract and a draft pick.

The second reason is the Biedrins contract. The Hornets don’t want to be adding large chunks of salary. The clock has already started on the new luxury tax penalties, and, as we get deeper into the CBA, those contracts become harder to move. I’ll pass.

5. Chris Kaman for Brendan Haywood, the rights to Nick Calathes, Dominique Jones and Rodrique Beaubois

Why the Hornets should do it: Okay, I know Haywood’s contract is beyond bad, but hear me out. The Mavericks are going hard after D-Will and/or Dwight this summer and need to clear some cap room. They can amnesty Marion or Haywood, but not both. To take Haywood off their hands, we take their three best young prospects  to either develop or package in a future deal that could get us a star or a higher pick in the draft.

Meanwhile, the Hornets continue to look to move Okafor and get a young stud center on a rookie contract in here (Andre Drummond?). Yes, Haywood will be overpaid, but J Smitty, Ayon, and the rookies will be vastly underpaid so it all balances out. Beaubois is a rare talent and can either be paired with Gordon to form an exceptional backcourt or can be moved for the right piece.

Why the Hornets should pass (Jason Calmes): We better be happy with those guys, because they are adding $15m in salary going into the 2013 – 2014 season, assuming we pick up the options on the young players (otherwise, we messed up) and not counting Calathes, leaving us with about as much committed salary as we had this past offseason. Having yet to eat dinner, I’ll say Mr. Haywood is Ruth’s Chris and Emeka is The Chicago Chop House. That is, Haywood is more sizzle and less steak for a decent price reduction.

While we do get some young back court players, we are locking up more salary at the center position, and the center position only, to the tune of $23.5 through the 2013 – 2014 season, after which the contract of the younger Emeka expires. Pulling the trigger leaves us on the outside looking in from a different angle unless we can move Emeka relatively quickly.

Also, I hate Dallas.


  1. HiMyNameisSteven

    January 31, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    These all suck except for #4. Only reason I like #4 is for Klay Thompson, but the only reason you want him is so he is your starting 2 guard for the future and this would mean we give up on signing Eric Gordon.

    • Michael McNamara

      February 1, 2012 at 5:57 am

      I understand, but remember, I actually try to propose trades that the other teams would do as well. I can come on here and spout out a bunch of trades that the Hornets fan base would love (and believe me, we will see plenty of those in the comments), but I try to look at both teams and be objective.

      Go back and look at all the ‘fan proposals’ when we were shopping Peja last year, as compared to what we really got in return.

      Just sayin’

      • 504ever

        February 1, 2012 at 9:22 am

        I also think #4 is the best, and I appreciate that you tried to make realistic trades. I worry we won’t get even as much as what is in any of these trades for Kaman.

        A contending team is much more likely to part with a #1 pick in the 20s figuring they can use Kaman’s cap space to sign a player who can help them in the off sesaon. They may even sign Kaman to barely play him and then get the cap space for next year (something we could do to). All we may get back is a #1 and a smaller expiring contract on a player we don’t want either. That’s life.

      • HiMyNameisSteven

        February 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm

        I understand your thought process to get a more realistic trade, but Dell and Monty are too smart and have already made it clear we are building to the future. They would not sacrafice cap space to get bad character or fringe starter type players. If worse comes to worse you dont trade kaman and get his contract off the books so that we can sign EG to a big deal. You dont take back big contracts in return to limit our mobility in the future. Very bowerish

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  3. nikkoewan

    February 1, 2012 at 7:20 am

    I think out of all 5, ,1 and 2 are the trades i’d love the most. Good, tall centers are hard to find. And both Oden and McGee exemplify the type of Cs that can carry a franchise defensively. Its the reason why big man with even a touch of skill are paid heavily. Heck, Jordan got paid 10 million for having unbelievable hops and good timing. Beyond that? He’s nothing special. Heck he’s even atrocious at aspects of his game. But he got paid 10 million. Because he can one day (possibly) anchor a team’s defense on his wide burly shoulders and strong and agile feet.

    McGee is of the same build. Lanky and quick on his feet. He just doesn’t have his head screwed on right. He commits stupid mistakes yes. Only thing i’d fear if we get McGee is that it will play out similarly to Thornton’s. Talented player but doesn’t have his head screwed on right.

    That’s why I want Oden more than McGee. Oden has been plagued by injury. And he’s not an injury RIDDLED player. He’s actually really, injury PRONE. I mean one of his injuries was just by jogging back to court and the other was while landing with no one around him. But when he plays, he changes the game. His basketball acumen is great. And he fits well with Monty’s slow placed offense and defense first mentality. Problem is, Oden has only played 82 games in 5 seasons.

    I’d REALLY want Oden but that injury concern is just too much to play with. If we did this trade and Oden hurts himself again(which is possible) , we’d be left with no C in 2012-2013 (I’m assuming Marcus Camby will go) besides Jason Smith. Wouldn’t want that..

    So overall, I’d like as to take on McGee. medium risk, high reward. yes?

    • bee dat

      February 1, 2012 at 10:27 am

      think of how much tyson chandler struggled first several years granted he was out of hs and mcgee had a little juco). mcgee just turned 24 and is ahead of tyson’s curve as a young center

  4. J

    February 1, 2012 at 8:28 am

    All those trade don’t make no sense they want expired contracts and draft picks.A new ownership want to turn it around next season and clear as much cap space as they can.

    • Mason Ginsberg

      February 1, 2012 at 8:31 am

      If the trades “don’t make no sense”, does that mean that they make sense?

      • cloud520

        February 1, 2012 at 8:38 am

        Beat me to it.

      • Jason Calmes

        February 1, 2012 at 8:49 am

        Depends on if you are speaking French?

        I also pose for consideration the notorious double positive: yeah right.

  5. bee dat

    February 1, 2012 at 9:52 am

    1,2, and 3 are academic as Kaman can’t be traded with another player as far as I understand. I suppose if salaries matched funny business could occur such as kaman for mcgee and okafor for lewis in seperate trades that are tied to each other. not sure if that could work for all 3.

    • Jason Calmes

      February 1, 2012 at 10:20 am

      He can’t be sent out with anyone else until the middle of February. There’s a month, starting in two weeks, for those to happen.

      For that reason, unless Dell has a target and he bags his bogey, I expect the trade to happen around this time, maybe just before, as the market widens, or is just about to.

      • bee dat

        February 1, 2012 at 10:48 am

        my understanding was can’t be traded AT ALL til valentines day, but that the traded with another player is a longer standing restriction

      • Jason Calmes

        February 1, 2012 at 11:16 am

        Remember Bayless? He was flipped pretty quickly if I remember right . . . October 23 to November 20. That deal was structured as multiple deals from the Hornets point of view, by the way, so he was NOT packaged, the were just on the same road at the same time. Different paperwork.

        Free agents can’t be traded for 90 days, period.

        Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBA_salary_cap#Trading_and_the_salary_cap

        “If a team acquires a player in a trade, they are allowed to trade that player straight-up for another individual player immediately. However, if they wish to package that player with another and make a trade, the team must wait 60 days before doing so.”


        “No free agent signed in the offseason can be traded until December 15 of that year or until three months have passed (whichever comes later), a rule that prevents teams from signing free agents with the intent of using them strictly as trade fodder. For draft picks this moratorium lasts 30 days.”

      • bee dat

        February 1, 2012 at 11:47 am

        I stand corrected, that makes things much more interesting.

      • Jason Calmes

        February 1, 2012 at 12:17 pm

        I wouldn’t look at it as corrected. This stuff isn’t easy. Work in progress.

        And, yes, much more interesting. Will the thread of an expanded market and teams willing to take Okafor, the possibility of 3-team deals, etc. force Houston’s hand before that magic date?

        Also, and we’ll keep this just between us, but that rules says 60 days, not 2 months. We just had 2 31 day months . . . so depending on a what counts as a day, the real date may be 2/12, yeah?

        How many days is from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning? 1, 2, or 3 depending on what you mean, right? That 40 hours can be looked at as 1 day (since it’s less than 2 days . . . boss says I need this tommorrow . . . that’s 1 day, but close to 2 days, right?), as 2 days, since it’s closer to 48 hours than 24 hours, or it can be looked at as 3 days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). This last bit of counting can lead to a second or less being 2 days (23:59:59.5 to 00:00:00.5 is one second or two days). Before you scoff, think about how many people count that very particular time period I stated as 3 days.

        At any rate, it could be slightly sooner than 2/14, and the deal may get forced before some team thinks that date, whatever it is, is too appealing for Dell.

  6. bee dat

    February 1, 2012 at 10:01 am

    even for strictly rhetorical purposed, I’d still like to give an opinion

    #1 like it a lot, love to see what monty could do with mcgee one of the premier YOUNG defensive players in the leaugue

    #2 david aldridge brought up this prospect in his column and I love the idea of taking a chance on oden. Hoewever that would have to be contingent on extending him for at least one more year.

    #3 I’m a big fan of augustin and having local guys in nola, but that’s way too much to give away (and take back) for him. If your argument that they’re not committed to him for the future is true, shouldn’t we just try to pry him away in free agency

    #4 no way in Haaaaiiil that gs gives us klay for kaman, much less with udoh.

    #5 like roddy’s potential and we need a fearless scorer who wants the ball like him badly but haywood is an overpaid dud it’s a tough trade but I would pull the trigger

    • Jason Calmes

      February 1, 2012 at 10:46 am

      bee dat, off topic, but i wanted to tell you that there may be some form of continuation of the balcony busters next season.

      This and more will be in what I hope is my last attendance post for a while, out in a week or two. I’m waiting to analyze the renewal effort startup.

      • bee dat

        February 1, 2012 at 10:52 am

        I hope so. I don’t see why they wouldn’t. Noone is going to be falling over themselves next season to buy seats so why not pull out the stops to make some sales.

        hopefully the team will be so exciting next year with the kids we get in the draft et al that people will get invested again and want to buy tickets without such a big incentive

        happy about meeting the benchmark. I bought one more ticket sunday in addition to my season tix to do my part!

      • Jason Calmes

        February 1, 2012 at 11:18 am

        That’s exactly the sort of thing that makes fans fans.

        Good people around this team. One day, we’ll get what we deserve: Normalcy.

  7. bee dat

    February 1, 2012 at 10:23 am


    cp3pdx and I concocted this in another thread. Believe it works salarywise:

    kaman to mave to relieve their need for a center

    odom to la clips to get back to lala land take revenge on lakes and inflame lakes clips rivalry

    dominique jones or (ideally but unlikely r beaubois) along with e bledsoe and whatever salaries from clips (foye, gomes, cook) we need to take back to make it happen

    • Mason Ginsberg

      February 1, 2012 at 10:54 am

      Only problem with this logistically (regardless of whether or not it’s a fair trade) is that the difference between Odom and Kaman’s salary is too much; Dallas would have to send out another couple players in addition to Odom, which they can’t do yet because Odom can’t be traded with any other Mavs. It’s not a bad idea otherwise.

      • bee dat

        February 1, 2012 at 11:37 am

        Odom makes 8.9 mil, satisfying requirements according to Michael McNamara’s previous post:

        “The Hornets can trade Kaman today, but they could not include any other players in the deal per the CBA. They would have to wait until mid-February before they could include him as part of a package. Also, as part of the CBA, the Hornets also have to take back salary that is relatively close to the salary they are given away- within 150% to be exact for teams below cap, and within 125% for teams above it. Kaman is on the books for a little over 12 million this year (disregard the salary on Hoopshype, because that includes his 15% trade kicker), meaning that the Hornets have to take back between 8.2 and 18.5 million dollars when trading Kaman to make the deal work, and to get Commissioner Stern’s approval. Sorry, I had to go there.”

      • Jason Calmes

        February 1, 2012 at 11:45 am

        I haven’t looked at the specifics too deeply, but a team that’s over the tax line post-trade has a tighter matching criterion that one that is not.

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  9. David

    February 1, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    I hate all of those deals.

  10. Michael McNamara

    February 1, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    And just to be clear, this was purely thinking outside the box and exploring other options outside of the norm. When it goes down, I believe the deal will look something like:

    Kaman for Thabeet, Jordan Hill, and one of these three: Patrick Patterson, D. Motiejunas, or lotto protected first rounder (either from Rockets or Knicks)

    Hornets add one asset, see what Hill has to offer, and buy out Thabeet.

    • 504ever

      February 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      If that happened, that would be great. I am not so optimistic, in part because I don’t see Kaman as having much value as a player.

      As I posted before, I see Kaman as a turnover plagued big who can’t play inside on either end of the floor. He is a midrange shooter with a tall enough platform to get good looks. He may not hit them, he turns the ball over, and on defense he is neither quick or strong for someone his size.

    • bee dat

      February 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      been saying my moneys on houston for a trade tho I’ll be disappointed if we don’t get a point guard in the mix. they have an extra and we need one

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  12. Eugene

    February 1, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    How about “Kaman” and “Belinelli” to the Wolves for “M. Beasley” and “B. Miller”. I think it can be win-win trade. Beasley can be our 2nd scoring option paired with Gordon. Kaman and Belinelli will help Wolves to go to playoff this season.

    • Ryan Schwan

      February 1, 2012 at 10:37 pm

      Any team with Beasley on it in a prominent role will lose more than it wins. Of course, that may improve our current team. 🙂

  13. mitch

    February 2, 2012 at 1:46 am

    who ever wrote this article muct be hornets fan. why would golden state wants to give Andris Biedrins, Ekpe Udoh, and Klay Thompson? is kaman this good? if he is then why dont you keep him and give him more mins to play . hahahah you are a joke man

    • Nithenz

      February 2, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      How many years are left on Biedris @9M each? ohhh yeah, thats the reason you have to send Klay and/or Ekpe in order to move that injury prone awfull player…

  14. David

    February 2, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I like

    Kaman to the Pacers for George Hill and a 1st round pick.

    Kaman to the Rockets for some combination of 2 out of Patterson, the Euro, top 7 protected 1st round pick and whatever Busts they have to make the money work

  15. simon

    February 2, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    SO I’ve got a prospective Kaman trade that wouldn’t be bad for the hornets. Includes the rockets (who are said to be interested) and the jazz.

    Here it is.


    Also, here’s one including the wiz and the t-wolves for Mek and Ariza.


    I wanted to post these in a journal article but when I try to register I never get an e-mail with a password.

    Anywho, who do people think says no and why? I can see a few reasons myself but I can also see a few reasons why these could potentially go down.

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