It's no surprise that the New Orleans Hornets are looking to flip center Chris Kaman, a veteran whose expensive contract will expire at the end of the season, before the March 15 trade deadline. That the Hornets have decided to keep Kaman at home for now while seeking a trade, as ESPN's Marc Stein reports is the case, is, however, fairly unorthodox.
Stein reports that there is no trade for Kaman, a 29-year-old one-time All-Star, pending right now. But the struggling Hornets, 4-15 after a win over the Orlando Magic on Friday, are looking more to the future, and would rather give minutes to potential long-term prospects Jason Smith, Al-Farouq Aminu and Gustavo Ayon. It doesn't hurt New Orlean's long-term cause that one less solid NBA player could result in fewer wins and a better chance at a top-three pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Kaman has missed 50 or more games in two of the past three seasons. He did have a strong 2009-10 season, appearing in 76 games, playing a career-high 2,600 minutes and averaging 18.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Unless he receives a contract extension midseason after being traded, he'll be one of the better centers available in free agency, though his age will limit his market considerably.
For more on the Hornets, visit SB Nation's At The Hive.