Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat need a serviceable center and according to a new report, Heat president Pat Riley is eyeing New Orleans Hornets center Chris Kaman to fill the void in the middle.
According to Foxsports.com, Riley and other Heat officials have called associates of Kaman to ask about the possibility of bringing him to Miami.
But, there are several hurdles to acquiring Kaman the Heat may not be able to overcome.
First, the Hornets are owned by the NBA and NBA commissioner David Stern would be loathe to doing anything that could increase the Heat’s likelihood of winning an NBA championship just months after he carried out a lockout to weaken strong teams.
Second, as of now, the Hornets aren’t interested in trading Kaman. Recently, the team pulled Kaman from the lineup and actively tried to trade him for prospects or draft picks.
No one in the NBA bit on the trade offers from the Hornets.
The Hornets reinserted him into the lineup and are letting him play. Monday night, Kaman totaled 27 points and 13 rebounds in an 86-80 victory over Utah.
The final hurdle for the Heat is Kaman’s contract. He’s making $14 million this season, which means the only way the Heat could acquire Kaman is if his contract is bought out and he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Then he’d have to sign for the veteran minimum with the Heat.
Still, for the Heat, Kaman is 7’ tall and weighs 265 pounds. He’s a classic banger who averages 12 points and 8 rebounds for his eight-year-career.
He’ll turn 30 on April 28, which would give the Heat a key cog to run with the Big Three for the next few years.
But, other owners in the league are likely to try everything possible to keep Kaman from getting to the Heat.
Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert and others nixed the Lakers acquiring Chris Paul and they would do anything to keep the Heat from getting the big man the team desperately needs.