NBA Trade Deadline: Possible suitors for the Hornets’ Chris Kaman

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Plenty of names will be floated around in the next week-plus as the NBA trade deadline approaches on March 15th.  Over the next week, I am going to take a look at which players are likely to be dealt and what teams might be interested in acquiring said player.  Earlier this season, the New Orleans Hornets put Chris Kaman on the trade block and will almost certainly move him in the next two weeks.

The post-CP3 Hornets are clearly in re-building mode and would be foolish not to trade Kaman in hopes of acquiring some assets for the future.  He is a free agent after this season and it is highly unlikely that he will be re-signing with New Orleans since they already have Emeka Okafor locked up to a long-term contract and will be focusing their attention on re-signing restricted free agent Eric Gordon.  Several teams would love to acquire a big man for the stretch run so the Hornets should be able to get a mixture of young talent, expiring contracts, and/or draft picks in exchange for Kaman.

Possible Suitors:
Houston: The Rockets have several young players who were high draft picks but have yet to pan out in the NBA.  Some sort of combination of Hasheem Thabeet, Jonny Flynn, Jordan Hill, Patrick Patterson, and/or Terrence Williams along with a first round draft pick would help the Hornets’ re-building effort.  All of those players have team options on their contracts next season so if New Orleans doesn’t think they are part of the future after this season, they could cut ties with them and still add what would be a third first round pick for the 2012 NBA Draft.  Houston would finally land a solid big man that would help them solidify their roster for a post-season run.

Philadelphia: The 76ers have been lacking a true quality big man and if they are serious about making a run this post-season, would be wise to pursue Kaman.  An offer of Spencer Hawes, Andres Nocioni, Nikola Vucevic, and a first-round pick would intrigue me if I were New Orleans.  Hawes is a free agent and Nocioni has a team option on his contract next season so both guys would come off the books.  Vucevic and the first round pick add some youth to help accelerate the re-building effort.

Cleveland: Since losing Anderson Varejao to a likely season-ending injury, the Cavs have lacked any true talent at center (sorry, Semih Erden and Ryan Hollins don’t cut it.)  Would the Hornets be interested in Antawn Jamison’s expiring contract and a first round pick?  Acquiring Kaman would solidify the center position and also open up more playing time for Tristan Thompson at power forward.  New Orleans would probably want more than Jamison and a pick in return though and the Cavs might not be willing to deal a draft pick since they are in the midst of a re-building project of their own.

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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