Blazers to sign free agent Chris Kaman

By Erik Gundersen, Columbian Trail Blazers writer

Published:

 

While the biggest dominos in the NBA landscape have yet to fall, the Portland Trail Blazers have reportedly used their biggest free agent bargaining chip.

The Blazers have agreed to a two-year $10 million deal with former Lakers big man and 11-year veteran center Chris Kaman.

Yahoo! Sports first reported the news. Multiple reports indicate the second year of the contract is only partially guaranteed.

Kaman played in 39 games for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2013-14, averaging 18.9 minutes per game, 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds on 50.9 percent shooting.

The Blazers entered the offseason with the mid-level exception and the bi-annual exception that allowed them to sign players without it counting against their salary cap.

The mid-level exception was their biggest tool, allowing them to pay in excess of $5 million for a player.

It appears that the Blazers have elected to use their mid-level exception on the Kaman acquisition, which is around $5 million per season.

Kaman made the Western Conference All-Star team in the 2009-10 season but hasn't played more than 66 games in the last four seasons.

Multiple reports indicated that the Blazers were in the market for a shooting big man, such as Phoenix's Channing Frye or Cleveland's Spencer Hawes but Kaman does not fit that mold. Kaman has taken 10 three-pointers in his last five NBA seasons.

Kaman played for the Clippers, where current Blazers general manager Neil Olshey was in charge of the basketball operations.

The Blazers still have their bi-annual exception, which can pay a player in excess of $2 million.

The Blazers offseason is not over, but they've already used their best remaining chess piece in free agency.

The Blazers have still yet to sign a back-up point guard after sixth-man Mo Williams hit free agency.

It remains to be seen whether they will bring back Williams or go in another direction.

Kaman cannot officially sign until the NBA's free agent moratorium ends on July 10th.