Cavs reportedly interested in Chris Kaman: is it a good idea?

February 2nd, 2012 by John Krolik

According to this report, the Cavaliers are apparently one of the teams in the Chris Kaman sweepstakes. The great Rohan Cryuff of At The Hive emailed me tonight asking, essentially, why the Cavs would want Chris Kaman. Here were my guesses at what’s going on behind these rumors:

– The Cavs want to make the playoffs this year. Badly. I’ve been on the record for a while saying that I hope the Cavs take their time and do a nice, long, patient, rebuild, but Dan Gilbert clearly doesn’t want to have to swallow the pill of a full 3-5 year rebuilding plan, and I think he really likes the idea of a potential Heat-Cavaliers playoff series, no matter how slim the chances of the records matching up or the Cavaliers winning the series — is it unfair to say that if the Cavs did pull of a win in that series, regardless of what happens through the rest of the playoffs, it would be a bigger Cleveland sports history moment than the 2007 Conference Championship, especially since that playoff run was all about LeBron, and all things LeBron are now tainted?

– Kaman’s value is that he’s a true center who can knock down a jump shot, which is important when the Cavs’ two best young frontcourt players who can’t knock down a jump shot, like at all. Kaman isn’t lights-out from midrange, but teams have to respect him from out there, which would free up Varejao and TT to attack the rim instead of being forced to fire up hopeless jumpers whilst paired alongside each other or play out-of-position defensively next to Antawn Jamison.

– The best deal we can figure (it works on Real GM’s trade checker): The Cavs deal Jamison and Hollins’ expiring, along with Sessions and a possible 2nd-rounder, for Kaman and Ariza’s ugly contract. The Ariza piece is the key for me: the Cavs desperately need a wing, and would get to talk themselves into Ariza as a potential above-average 3-and-D wing, just like Houston and New Orleans did, while New Orleans gets to get rid of a guy who’s still riding the high of one hot-shooting playoffs, wasn’t good offensively at all with CHRIS PAUL setting him up, and is currently enjoying a god-awful 44.7% True Shooting percentage.

The real issue here is Sessions — he’d clearly be backing up Jack, and is he really THAT much of an upgrade over the much cheaper Greivis Vasquez? I love Razor Ramon, but his PER is 14.92, and he doesn’t stretch the floor, isn’t much of a playmaker, and plays no defense. Vasquez’s PER is 14.67, and he’s better as a passer and a defender than Ramon, pretty much by default.

Anyways, that’s my run at a justification for this rumor. Have a good Thursday — I know everyone loves a good trade rumor. For the record, I put the chances of Kaman coming to Cleveland at 7%, and that might be generous. But, as always, stranger things have happened.