When Dwight Howard bolted from Los Angeles this summer, he left a giant void at the starting center position for the Lakers. Immediately following Howard’s departure, the Los Angeles Lakers went out and signed veteran center Chris Kaman. On paper, this isn’t a huge signing by the Lakers. Kaman’s points per game and rebound averages were at an all time low last season when playing for the Dallas Mavericks. What we have to remember here is that Kaman is only three years removed from being an All-Star center. His statistical decline last season was due to injury and lack of minutes.
Kaman will undoubtedly average more than 20 minutes per game for the Lakers, which could help revitalize his career. Kaman will be asked to two things: Rebound and defend the rim. While playing for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2008, Kaman averaged over 12 rebounds per game, the third highest in the NBA at the time. Although age and athleticism aren’t on Kaman’s side, he can still average at least seven to ten rebounds if given the appropriate amount of minutes.
Offensive output will most likely not be a heavy burden for Kaman, considering he will be starting with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol. They will be looking for Kaman to assert himself in the paint, like any dominant center would. Kaman won’t be close to averaging the numbers that Howard had last season with the Lakers (17.1 ppg, 12.4 rpg, 2.4 blkpg), but he can provide a large body in the paint. This was the best option for the Lakers. They will just need to get all they can out of the veteran All-Star center.
Jared Doyle is a Miami Heat writer for RantSports.com.
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