After an underwhelming season in Los Angeles, big man Chris Kaman has signed a two-year deal worth nearly $10 million with the Portland Trailblazers.
A former Clipper, Kaman’s return to Los Angeles did not go according to plan. Placed in an offense that was out of his comfort zone, Kaman saw scarce action and was eventually benched late in the season for the younger Robert Sacre.
In total, Kaman’s 18.9 minutes a game was the lowest of his career, with his 10.4 points the lowest since 2006-07. While Kaman and Pau Gasol had moments of optimism, Mike D’Antoni‘s offense rarely featured two post-players like Gasol and Kaman, leaving the two to fight for playing time instead of sharing time on the court. And with younger, more mobile options in Sacre and Jordan Hill, Kaman quickly slid down the totem pole.
Still, Kaman’s $4.8 million pay in his first year next season is pay raise from last season, where he brought in $3.1 million, quite the discount for the Lakers. Kaman will certainly see more playing time in Portland, where the offense suits him better and there’s a need for him. Likely to be featured off the bench, Kaman is a better option than the young Meyers Leonard and can offer spells of offensive performance that will impress fans and coaches alike.
Despite the struggles, Kaman had a handful of bright moments in LA. Despite only notching six double-doubles this season, five of them saw him score at least 19 points to go along with at least 10 rebounds. On three occasions, Kaman put up a 20-10 game, and twice he added six assists. And none of these even mentions the epic game in Cleveland.