Why Dell Should Consider Trading Kaman for “Nothing”

Published: March 9, 2012

Pacers are not willing to part with 1st rounder for Kaman. That’s fine by me.

It has been reported that the Pacers are unwilling to give up a first-round pick for Chris Kaman, and honestly, I can’t blame them. As it stands, their backup bigs are averaging about 30 minutes a game and are posting a PER that is very similar to Kaman’s (in fact, Hansborough’s is higher). But beyond that, draft picks are more valuable now than ever due to the new CBA. In 2013-14, a new set of rules kicks in that will create a hard cap of sorts, maybe not for the 3-4 big spenders, but for teams like New Orleans and Indiana, it will almost certainly work as a hard cap. Though first round picks salaries are guaranteed, they are relatively low, and having the option to have a quality player on your books for a meager price will be extremely valuable.

Meanwhile, Kaman will be a one year rental for a team that still won’t be good enough to get past Miami and Chicago. If you were Indiana, would you trade this valuable commodity that can benefit you for the next 4-5 years for a big man who won’t even benefit you for one? Of course not. But would you give up a second rounder or two for him? Sure- those are pretty much throw away picks. But why would the Hornets take that? I’m glad you asked!

If the Hornets can’t find a taker for Kaman that is willing to part with a first rounder, then calling Indiana is their best move. Heck, I think I would take a trade for Indiana’s 2nd over a trade that got me a late first and expiring contracts the more I think about it. In trading with Indiana, you get a trade exception of nearly 14 million that Dell could play with from the minute the offseason begins all the way to next year’s trading deadline. On draft night, teams will be dying to shed salary as they target upcoming free agents, and Dealer Dell can take on that salary and ask for assets for his troubles. “Yes Mr. Cuban, I know you want to get rid of Shawn Marion, but it is going to cost you Beaubois, Nick Calathes, and a couple of future picks for me to help you out. Plus I want you to invest in my cupcake business on Shark Tank!”

The large TPE could be used in a multitude of ways to acquire multiple assets, but judging by your high scores on the Trade Proposal Certification, I am sure you all already knew that. But did you think about this: After making the Kaman trade, you also acquire a guy who is set to expire and use the money you are no longer paying Kaman to throw a huge signing bonus at him as part of an extension. Yes, that is legal and smart teams do things like this. The Thunder did it twice, with Nick Collison and Kendrick Perkins, and that is why those guys have such low cap numbers, relatively.

Basically how it works is you can give a bonus that counts against this years cap (as long as it doesn’t put you over) and the remainder of the contract counts as it would normally. So, let’s say the Hornets find a guy that they want to try this with. They trade for him and offer him 3 years/19 million, with a 10 million dollar signing bonus. If he agrees, that 10 million goes on the Hornets books this year and he only counts for nine million over the next three years on the cap.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But we need a player that is worth all this hassle, and I got just the guy. Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova is having a breakout year, but the Bucks won’t be able to pay him this summer due to some bad contracts and their need to save money to pay Jennings. So the Hornets go to the Bucks and offer up Aminu or Henry, two guys on rookie contracts that will keep costs low, for Ilyasova. Then they sign him to the aforementioned deal.

So what you have done is trade Kaman and Aminu for a huge TPE that you can use anytime, a couple of second round picks, and a young vet who still has upside on a fantastic contract. Put that up against a pick in the 20’s that will struggle just to get playing time over the next two years, and I take the Pacers deal every time. You?


  1. Jordan

    March 9, 2012 at 6:51 am

    I like the Shark Tank reference! haha

  2. Cris

    March 9, 2012 at 7:03 am

    There have been several websites reporting yesterday that Chris Kaman may not be going anywhere. Its rumored that Mike Dunleavy Sr is already influencing trades despite no new news about the ownership situation. Its thought that Dunleavy Sr thinks he can get Kaman and Gordon to stay longterm and wants both of them on the roster. Just rumors of course,

    • 504ever

      March 9, 2012 at 10:30 am

      The flip side to this is retaining Kaman’s Bird rights by not trading him.

      The Dunleavy effect may have also been why Kaman rejoined the Hornets roster earlier this year.

      Also, Kaman could be an effective change of pace (offensive in the Hornet’s case) big. It is certain he could be more selective with his shots, and hence a more efficient scorer, if there were more scoring options on the floor. The question is at what price? Mid level exemption type money? If so that might no be a bad idea.

    • bee dat

      March 9, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      these dunleavy articles are very poor examples of journalism so I take them with a grain of salt…….

      but if there’s a nugget of truth to them, we have a nightmare ahead of us with our competent current leadership being replaced and or directed by someone who has been a disaster on the managment level

  3. nikkoewan

    March 9, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Hmm but what is the value in Ilyasova? We’d probably pick a PF in this year’s draft, coupled with Ayon and Smith (who I STILL classify as a PF), there might NOT be enough minutes to go around. I don’t think Ilyasova can play any other position other than a stretch PF. So, really where is the issue there?

    I’d be fine with a Kaman for TPE trade. But personally, I’d still want to find if HOU bites on Kaman (highly doubt it though with Morey there) for their or NY pick. Other than that, I’d be fine with a TPE

    • da ThRONe

      March 9, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      I would love to trade Kaman for all of Houston’s “Trash” if you will. The Rockets are clearly moving on from Hill/Flynn/Thabeet/Williams if we could turn Chris and maybe Aminu/Henry for those four it would be nice. All those guys are young, phyiscally gifted and they all have one foot out of the league. If only one pans out as a key piece of our core moving forward that trade would be a huge success.

    • bee dat

      March 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      watching marco run around playing so many min makes it clear we need more guard depth, what about a hou trade that includes lee and or dragic and or jonny flynn? I’d like to see that

  4. kempleton

    March 9, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Hey Mike, interesting tought. We were watching Ersan [Ilyasova, it is easier to go by his first name :)] very closely since Bogut got injured. He is a terrific rebounder(especially offensive), top10 in the leaugue in offensive rebs and top20 in RP48. He is also a strong defender. 2 years ago, I watched him fighting with Horford when they faced the Hawks in the first round of playoffs. And he is even stronger now.

    I think Ersan is a very versatile player. He is 6’10”. He can play SF as well. Actually, He plays the SF regularly for Turkish national team when they go big with a lineup including Turkoglu as the PG, Erden at PF and Asik at Center. He can shoot the 3 as well but not consistent. However, we should not forget that the SF’s in NBA can be quicker!

    His stats as a bench player before Bogut got injured: 8 pt – 7 reb on 41% shooting.

    His stats in February after Bogut’s injury as a starter: 15 pt – 11 reb on 45%FG and 37%3PT.

    He is very talented and played for Barcelona as a youngster before Rubio joined them. (Gasol’s played at Barca too)

    The other day, I was thinking about teams that are DESPERATE to get a Center. First in my mind was Boston for their playoff run. Second was Milwaukee since Bogut is injured. Third is ATL for their playoff run. I don’t think Milwaukee can make a playoff run with Kaman. But, they might open up cap space at the end of the season to sign (maybe Nick Young?).

    We can get Ilyasova and may resign him if we like him. He is much better than Aminu and He is only 24. Monty can move J-Smith to back-up Center role if necessary.

  5. da ThRONe

    March 9, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Totally agree. Don’t know why people are so eager to trade Kaman for a potential pick below the 18th pick. As deep as this draft is I seriously doubt any player of value will be available that late even in the first. Knowing that I would much rather flip Chris for a player with proven potential in the league.

    • NOS-3RD GEN

      March 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      Like Javale McGee or Roy Hibbert

      • da ThRONe

        March 10, 2012 at 9:09 am

        Clearly I said “BELOW” the 18th pick. Hibbert was the 17th pick and McGee was the 18th pick. Either way most impact players aren’t taken that low. What I’m talking about is playing the percentage game. If we can trade Kaman for a 14th-18th pick great. 19th-23th pick becomes a little more murky as far as the talent level we can expect to draft. Anything lower than 23th would be the wrong move.

        Besides a lot of the incoming FR that were expected to be one-and-done aren’t having great 1st years and may elect to stay another year so this draft may not be as deep as it was projected at the beginning of the season.

  6. Stephen

    March 9, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Rockets fan,so excuse my bitterness, but aren’t you overlooking the Elephant in the room?
    Stern and crew own the Hornets.
    While trading Kaman for a large TPE is IMHO a pretty smart thing to do,there are a couple of HUGE problems w/the NBA allowing it to an Indiana.

    First,Stern and crew would be giving a huge boost to a Play-Off team in exchange for potentially nothing.(Yes large TPEs can be very useful,but there are just as many instances of teams getting them and then not using them.) I imagine Orlando,Atlanta,Boston,NY,etc would be just thrilled to see the League give one of their competitors a possible huge boost-for essentially nothing.

    Second,it’s a PR disaster for the League.(That shouldn’t have any influence over basketball decisions,but in the real world…)
    The Chris Paul trade shrinks to Gordon,Aminu and a middling Minn First. And if Gordon walks…

    Finally,the usable portion of the TPE shrinks as NO’s team salary rises.
    NO has @ $37mil in salary committed to next yr,depending on whether you keep some of the min players or not. Add a couple of Draft picks that will probably be due some $6mil and you’re at $43mil. Add whatever you sign Gordon for and you’re starting to bump against the Salary Cap. You still have the full MLE and if you use that your team salary approaches $60mil. The Lux Tax starts kicks in around $70mil,so that diff is what you can realistically use of the TPE.

    IF the Hornets have doubts about being able to keep Gordon,perhaps accepting a full rebuild is the way to go and cynically trade Gordon to Indy for their 2012 and 2014 First.
    Broker a three-way w/Hou and Minn where Kaman goes to Hou,Kevin Martin goes to Minn and NO gets the Memphis 2013 First Minn holds,Thabeet and Beasley,both expiring.
    You’d end up w/three Firsts in 2012(two pretty middling,but perhaps packageable to move up),and two each in 2013 and 2014.
    Paul would essentially be traded for 4 Firsts,Aminu,a modest TPE(Gordon) and cap space.

    • bee dat

      March 9, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      excellent points tho the league office has thus far shown they are not averse to embarrasing themselves

      can’t trade gordon, he’s all the fans have left to cling to, and there’s nothing (especially more draft picks) that equal value of a possible true centerpiece like him

      as a rockets fan, what assets would you see the team giving up for him I keep picturing a kaman for jonny flynn and twill or jordan hill with thabeet filler kind of deal, while other see lee, dragic, patterson or pick instead. What do you think?

  7. KC NOLA

    March 10, 2012 at 12:53 am


    I think this would be the best trade for both the Hornets and Pacers going forward. The Pacers would have to add this years 1rounder or Next Years 1rounder to the deal.
    This trade would make the Pacers even deeper for the playoff run and the hornets would get two key players to build around and a ton of cap space to add for next years FAs

    • KC NOLA

      March 10, 2012 at 12:54 am

      Sorry wrong hyperlink in the 1st post but here is the trade:


      • 504ever

        March 10, 2012 at 11:38 am

        This trade is ridiculously bad for the Hornets. We trade Gordon, Ariza, Jack, and Kaman for … Granger, George, and Hansbrough?! Even if the Pacers threw in all of their draft picks until forever I wouldn’t do this trade.

        We trade 3-4 starters for 2 starters and a back up big with limited offensive ability (.386 on 2 pointers and below ultra inefficient Kaman) and limited defensive ability. The Hornets need younger players they can develop. The Hornets need to get at least as many, if not more, starters than they receive, so that they can move some weaker starters to the 2nd team. Our problem is we have guys who would be 2nd teamers for an average NBA team starting for us. That’s why our starters rarely outplay the other team’s starters.

        This trade takes us backwards not forwards, and no amount of draft picks will change that.

      • KC NOLA

        March 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm

        1) Jack is a starter on the Hornets but in Reality he’s a back up so what are you losing ? Nothing your gaining cap space or a draft pick…
        2) Ariza for Granger cancels each other out but Granger is better offensive and I feel he can be a better leader.
        3) let’s be honest Eric Gordon DOES NOT WANT TO BE HERE his heart is with the Pacers so why not get a young Paul George (6’9 215-220lb Shooting Guard/Forward) who has a lot of potential plus he’s only 21. Or we can rist the chance of losing Gordon for nothing to the Pacers anyway.
        4) Kaman Pacers have shown the Most interest so he can be the deal sealer.
        5)Yea Hansbrough is a bench player but he is younger (25-26) He is shooting 38% in 21mins he average 9 ppg and 5 rebs but how much better is Kaman cause last time i checked he was shooting what 40-41% so he is not exactly shooting the lights out and in 28 mins he is avg 12ppg and 8 Rebs o and let’s not for get the 3-4 turnovers a game (that’s on a good night)
        6)The real reason this helps the Hornets is CAP SPACE to sign who you want .Granger, George, 3 first rounders (2 that we already hold and 1 potential from the trade) are attractive building blocks to other players. Think about it you can have deep TEAM(lets be honest small markets have to be a deep team because 90% of the time Big name players want to be in Big Market cities)
        With the Cap Space they can target 3-4 players to decent contracts.
        FA PG :
        Arron Brooks
        Ramon Sessions
        Raymond Falton
        D.J. Augustin

        FA SG:
        Shannon Brown
        Nick Young
        Brandon Rush

        FA C:
        Javale Mcgee
        Brook Lopez
        Robin Lopez

        FA F:
        Ryan Anderson
        Micheal Beasley
        J.J Hickson
        Kris Humphries

        All the players named are not franchise players by any means but a deep team can make a real run at a championship .

        For all the people who say they want player we can develop,that’s what the D-legue is for. We need solid TEAM players who are young and know the game, you want to develop compete for the starting spot that’s the best development.

      • 504ever

        March 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm

        Saying the trade is about cap space really says we aren’t getting anything close to the value we are giving up.

        If we want cap space we can just trade Kaman for a 2nd rounder (Michael’s idea) and not try to resign Gordon. Then we don’t have to take on Granger’s future $27M ($13M in 2012-12 and $14 in 2012-14). That is another Okafor contract!

        But why would we trade Gordon when we are in the drivers seat to sign him? We can match any offer Gordon gets and then he has to sign with us on the same terms as the offer!

        Most important a team (deep) in rebuilding mode, as we would be after your trade, only signs free agents by over paying them. Think of the horrible Peja and Posey contracts. The better way a team attracts free agents is to be a competative team, which means keeping Gordon, and either trying to resign Kaman or getting a quality asset for him.

        (As to your other points, I agree Jack isn’t a starter but Kaman can start for a number of teams in the NBA. And if he had more scoring options around him, and didn’t have to shoulder so much of the scoring load, he would be a more efficient scorer.

        You can’t compare Hansbrough’s numbers as a bench player against other bench players to Kaman’s numbers as a starter playing against other starters. Kaman is playing against harder competition and his numbers are still better!)

  8. Nithenz

    March 10, 2012 at 6:32 am

    If the trade was for a TPE, i would just dump him to Houston to help them in the playoff run (and giving more chances to us with the minny pick) than boosting a Pacers team that could say, “ok, a good run in the playoffs had been made, now lets just convince Gordon he is the missing piece to make us a championship contender”…. No way im helping the Pacers….Help Houston that they can help us.

  9. Charlie X

    March 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Good article and I couldn’t agree more. You build a team to contend for a title and by the time the Hornets put a team together that’s ready to contend, Kaman won’t be contribuiting any longer. Bottom line is that he’s gone next season for nothing anyway Dunleavy factored in or not.
    Take the Pacers 2cd. and Lance Stephenson along with the TPE. The Hornets will have owners in place to use the tpe next summer.
    It’s better then the alternatives of getting nothing or taking back Houston’s bad contracts.

    • 504ever

      March 11, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      I like your thought, but what if you could sign Kaman at the midlevel exemption for two years? That would be a great deal!

      The question what can you sign Kaman for, for how short of a contact, AND what can you get for him in a trade? The trade value of Kaman seems to be a maximum of a bottom 1/4th of the 1st round pick. But what is his salary range for a 2-3 year contact and do we need it to get over the league minimum salary?

  10. Charlie X

    March 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    I agree and good article. The Hornets are far better off dealing Kaman then ending up with nothing next summer. Take the Pacers 2cd. and Lance Stephenson along with the tpe. The Hornets will have owners in place who’ll want to use the tpe before it expires. It’s far better to take the Pacers offer then the alternatives of either getting nothing or taking back bad contracts from Houston.

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