The primary focus of the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2013 NBA Draft and Free Agency was to try and improve what was the worst bench in the league in the 2012-13 season. Players like Mo Williams were a major factor in the Blazers being able to improve enough to make the 2014 NBA Playoffs. However, there bench was still lacking to a certain degree.
Throughout the regular season and in the postseason, one of the issues that Portland seemed to continually face was finding consistent production from their frontcourt reserves. Thomas Robinson was their best big man off the bench last year and, while he has potential to be a solid rotation player, he’s still highly unreliable at this point in his NBA career. Moreover, they had no one with any kind of reliability backing up Robin Lopez at the center position.
The Blazers took a big step in correcting that issue late on Thursday night, though. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!, Portland reached an agreement with veteran center Chris Kaman worth $10 million over the next two years. Wojnarowski also reports that the second year of Kaman’s deal is only partially guaranteed.
The 32-year-old Kaman played in just 39 games last year for the Los Angeles Lakers, putting up 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in 18.9 minutes per game while shooting 50.9 percent from the floor. If there’s one dynamic that Kaman will add to the Blazers, it’s the fact that they will have a solid offensive big man coming off of the bench for the next two years.
However, the deal is not without its faults. For one, it’s hard to imagine paying a big man who’s past his slightly above-average prime $5 million per year. It’s possible that’s what Portland had to give him to make the deal happen, but that’s still a bit of a steep price. Moreover, Kaman doesn’t address the Trail Blazers’ need for a rim-protector as the big German is hardly known for his defensive abilities.
It’s a bit of an odd signing that probably costs Portland too much money for what they’ll be getting, but the Blazers do benefit from signing Kaman to a certain degree. Even though Kaman isn’t a name to put up in lights, he could very well help the offensive-minded Blazers take another step forward.