The Chris Kaman conspiracy: Are the Bucks in the game?

No Andrew Bogut until April at the earliest, highly speculative and tenuous playoff hopes, a Bogut-less Bucks fan base that needs those playoff hopes, no space under the salary cap next season and most of the necessary roster ingredients for a trade.

Stir it all together and you’ve got motive and opportunity for the Bucks to be party to a trade for veteran center Chris Kaman, who’s been publicly placed on the trading block by the New Orleans Hornets.   The Hornets reportedly want “draft picks, cap space and a young player” for the 29-year-old former All-Star (2010) and his expiring $14 million contract.  The Celtics have already declined.

The Bucks have young players, draft picks and the expiring contracts of Ersan Ilyasova and Carlos Delfino, not enough to make the trade.  (See Bucks salaries at But Stephen Jackson’s contract could get them there, if the Hornets are willing to take on Jack’s $10 million salary next season.  Add Ilyasova, draft picks and/or the developing Darington Hobson, Larry Sanders et. al., and a trade could work.

The Hornets could do a lot worse.  Ilyasova’s become one of the better rebounding forwards in the league and would be a good addition to the Hornets undersized front court, led by Emeka Okafor.  It’s no secret that, while Ersan is a key member of the Bucks core, Bucks management hasn’t been willing to trust him with starting PF minutes.  For all the good Ersan does on the court, at the end of the day he’s still standing in the way of Jon Leuer‘s development.  Acquiring Kaman helps solve the Bucks defensive rebounding problems (yes, it’s still a problem) in the short term, and clears minutes for Leuer.

So while the Bucks are giving up the better rebounder (currently) and defender in Ilyasova, they would shore up the center position while clearing $14 million in cap space next season.  And Jackson?   The Hornets would be well under the cap next summer standing pat, and adding Jackson would still leave them Room.  They’d only have to pay Jack a year (or less if they trade him).  And, as the Bucks have discovered this season, Jack’s a good guy to have around in spite of all the angry yapping.

So why don’t the Bucks keep him?  Delfino and Mike Dunleavy, jr. play more or less the same position as Jack, and Luc Mbah a Moute needs small forward/guard minutes, too (locking down on Joe Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, Lebron James, Danny Granger, Carmelo Anthony, to name a few).  Jack’s fairly expendable, and the Bucks play just fine without him.

Kaman fits in well in the Bucks scheme, and he’s a more reliable offensive player than Bogut.  Kaman helps get the Bucks to the post-season, where the Bucks would have Bogues, too (in theory) and a formidable white behemoth front court.

So would the NBA-owned Hornets sting on this trade?   With the league office involved, it’s not clear that the Bucks have the right expiring contracts for a trade, but there are a lot worse contracts out there than Jackson’s (Drew Gooden’s comes to mind).  A trade would likely depend on the young players, whether the Hornets want to keep Ilyasova, and the value of the draft picks involved.

It also depends on Bucks GM John Hammond, never one to stand pat or worry about stability or player development.

Of course, it’s also likely that I’m just talking myself into it so I can post crazy Chris Kaman photos.

8 thoughts on “The Chris Kaman conspiracy: Are the Bucks in the game?

  1. Kevin

    Looking at the schedule I figured 30 wins and then I read Charles Gardner replied the same when asked. That won’t be enough to pass the Knicks. So they should decide what direction to go in before the trading deadline. Guys to keep: Harris, Leuer, Dunleavy. Keep unless offered the ranch: Jennings, Bogut. Prefer to keep: Luc, Ersan. Probably stuck with: Gooden, Jackson, Brockman. That leaves four players that are movable: Delfino, Sanders, Udrih, Livingston. A good trade, the return of Bogut and another good draft and maybe next year. Again.

  2. J.D. Mo Post author

    I still think it makes sense now to start Jackson and bring Livingston off the bench with the Ersan-Dunleavy crew, and to help rest Jennings. Beno continues to be a source of inconsistency, turnovers and bad D.

    Rumor I heard was that Chicago was interested, maybe just as a stopgap if Noah or Asik goes down. The loss of Asik, who was playing great, killed their chances against Miami last playoffs. LA Clippers are supposedly the other player in the Prz game but right now — Bucks can’t get down much further than they are or whatever Hammond does will be irrelevant.

  3. Kevin

    I just wonder if Hammond is going to wait until were 10 under 500 to make a move. Another concern is Livingston, very athletic but doesn’t get many touches.
    Don’t know why Chicago would want Pryz, but Miami taking him would mean they are giving up on Curry. And the Hobson move suggests something is brewing.

  4. J.D. Mo Post author

    Hammond is snoozing. Grapevine says Przybilla wants to go to a contender, will probably end up in Miami or … even back in Portland? Chicago?

    Hammond was courting Prz – but he couldn’t get it done.

    Also, I think you’re right about Jackson. Just start him, Skiles – Delfino will fit in fine with the Ersan-Dunleavy bench rotation. it doesn’t mean Jackson has to finish the game, but the Bucks need a boost starting the games, and it’ll help Jack.

  5. Kevin

    Jackson should start for Delfino. This starting lineup lacks offense and Jax is more productive. Trading one or both of them for a center and then signing J. R. Smith would be even better.
    They are still letting too many games get away. Those kind of losses are the diifference between us and teams like Indiana and Philadelphia, 10-14 could easily be 15-9. So I am hoping for some changes while we are still in the playoff race.

  6. Kevin

    Jackson is not going to lead us like Salmons did two years ago but he needs to contribute similar to what Stackhouse did.
    Cleveland looks like the best fit for Kaman if they can achieve salary compatability.

  7. J.D. Mo Post author

    The latest from Sports Illustrated has the Celtics and Sixers out, the Rockets in, and a bunch of other teams interested, the Bucks not named as one of them — though the fact that Jackson sat out for the second straight game against Detroit might’ve sparked a rumor or two.

    From SI:
    “According to several reports, Cleveland, San Antonio and Indiana are among the other teams interested in Kaman. Atlanta and Golden State have also been linked to Kaman, but sources said a deal with either team appears unlikely. Philadelphia does not intend to pursue Kaman, a source close to the 76ers told’s Zach Lowe.”

    Read more:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.