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Northwest Notes: Kaman, Martin, Thunder

Trail Blazers reserve center Chris Kaman believes it’s a “high possibility” he will be moved before the trade deadline, he revealed to Jason Quick of CSNNW.com. Kaman told Quick that as part of the Blazers’ decision to pick up his $5MM option over the summer, president of basketball operations Neil Olshey made it clear he would be traded if the right deal came along. Kaman has only played in four games.

In other developments around the Northwest Division:

  • Kevin Martin could be rejoining the rotation soon and center Nikola Pekovic could return to action on Wednesday, Timberwolves coach Sam Mitchell told Kent Youngblood of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Martin has not played the past seven games, in part because he has a wrist injury but mainly because the club wanted to audition Zach LaVine at shooting guard. But Mitchell told Youngblood that he may play more of his veterans in upcoming games. Pekovic is looking to make his season debut after undergoing Achilles surgery in April and is “50-50” to play on Wednesday, Mitchell said.
  • Rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay will come off the bench in the short term when he returns to action, Nuggets coach Michael Malone told Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post. Mudiay, who has missed the last 11 games with a right ankle injury, could be back in action on Wednesday but will be under a minutes restriction, Dempsey adds. “Right now, my gut feeling is to work him in, bring him in off the bench, let him get his feel back after missing as many games as he has,” Malone said. “That will also allow him to play against more second-line guys, get a little more comfortable, get his confidence back — not that he’s lost confidence. But just to feel good out there. Then, if he’s able to take his starting job back, then we’ll put him back in the lineup.”
  • The Thunder allowed the $915,243 trade exception they acquired in last year’s three-team trade with the Knicks and Cavaliers to expire today, the one-year anniversary of the deal. The exception was a vestige of the team’s minimum-salary contract with Lance Thomas, who went to New York in the swap.
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4 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: Kaman, Martin, Thunder

  1. Chuck Myron

    Kaman has been a poor fit in some places, and his $5MM salary is no bargain. I’d disagree with him that the chances are high that the Blazers will trade him.

    • His salary probably complicates things, but as a backup big, there are worse options. And the Blazers aren’t expecting a lot back for him. Something along the lines of a trade exception/one 2nd round pick/non-guaranteed contracts or a slightly larger deal where the Blazers take back a bigger contract/bad contract plus a 2nd rounder seems fair. And the acquiring team won’t have to worry too much about him possibly being a poor fit. If he plays/fits poorly, then they just keep him on the end of the bench and he’s gone at the end of the year.

      • Chuck Myron

        Good points here. I’m guessing that an exchange of Kaman for a similar contract is more likely, given Portland’s cap space, plus I can’t see another team using a fairly sizable trade exception to take Kaman in. But you’re right about limited risk; he’s a free agent at the end of the season regardless, so it’ll be easy for a team to move on if he proves a poor fit.

  2. Dana Gauruder

    My sense is that if Kaman is dealt, it would part of a broader package to make salaries match up.

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