Chris Kaman, probably the right choice when you have few choices

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Chris Kaman, probably the right choice when you have few choices
July 3, 2014, 9:45 pm
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Faced with the very real prospect of being priced out of a chance to sign Spencer Hawes or Channing Frye for the mid-level exception, the Trail Blazers got an agreement with Chris Kaman Thursday night at around five million bucks for the upcoming season.

Yes, that's the very definition of what's called overpaying for a player. Kaman's contract last season for the Lakers was for just $3.18 million and he did nothing during that year to prove he deserved a raise this season, playing in just 39 games.

That said, Trail Blazer GM Neil Olshey probably had few choices considering what Portland had available to spend in the free-agent frenzy going on this summer. Olshey had to have depth in the frontcourt and he at least grabbed a player capable of being a solid contributor when healthy. Kaman is a smart big man who can score and protect the rim. He's had several solid NBA seasons and is very underrated defensively. And the good thing about that contract is the second season is mostly not guaranteed. There is still cap room on the horizon.

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But keeping Kaman healthy has been a big stumbling block to what could have been a very nice career. He's had ankle and foot problems, primarily, that have limited his availability. He may be the oldest 32-year-old in the league, given his medical history.

But as everyone knows, injured centers are nothing new around here. Portland can deal with that on a limited basis. And given what's available this season for the mid-level exception, he could prove to be a bargain if the Portland strength and conditioning staff -- amazing last season -- can keep him upright.

It figures to be a challenge.