ESPN.com and the TrueHoop Network are ranking every NBA player and counting them down on Twitter (@NBAonESPN), from number 500 to number 1. As the rankings are announced, you can also find them on the pages of ESPN.com.
Chris Kaman may only be ranked 113 out of 500 players, but he’s one of the better centers in the league. The Dallas Mavericks have struggled since Tyson Chandler left and they will look to Kaman to pick up the slack. He’s definitely capable of doing just that as long as he can stay healthy.
Last season was a strange season for Kaman. He was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the New Orleans Hornets. He was a starter, but then got shut down in an attempt to trade him. Then he was brought back to the team to come off the bench. All in all Kaman still had a pretty decent season. He averaged 13 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.6 blocks in 29 minutes a game. He played in 47 of the possible 66 games in the lockout shortened season and started just 33 of them.
Kaman will no doubt be the starter in Dallas. Dirk will no longer be given the burden of guarding the other team’s offensively gifted big men. Kaman was brought in to make Dirk’s job a lot easier so he can focus on being an All-star once again by being a top notch scorer. Tyson benefited greatly by being the clean up man beside Dirk, grabbing 10 boards and 2 blocks a game while owning the painted area on the defensive end. Kaman will also bring a different style of game to the Mavericks who have never had a center who could score. Kaman has that ability and will benefit from it greatly when his opponent is more focused on Dirk in the paint.
Kaman may not be an offensive and defensive juggernaut like Dwight Howard is, but he is very capable of keeping up with guys like that. The additions of Kaman, O.J Mayo, Darren Collison and Elton Brand will most likely be the key to the Mavericks making the playoffs.