Donnie Nelson: Mavs got a top free agent in Kaman

Chris KamanThis summer hasn’t gone exactly to plan for the Dallas Mavericks.  After letting Tyson Chandler leave for New York instead of overpaying him and making another run for an NBA title, but instead opted for long term salary cap flexibility with this summer in mind to make a run at Deron Williams or Dwight Howard or both.  Turns out neither happened, so the Mavs moved to plan B, or C.  Really it’s unclear which plan that was but after striking out on Williams and never being in the Howard sweepstakes, the Mavs rebounded nicely by picking up Chris Kaman, Elton Brand, Darren Collison, Dahntay Jones and OJ Mayo all on relatively cheap deals. Dwain Price with The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Full Court Press blog writes the Mavs consider Kaman a center piece (no pun intended) to their revised offseason plans.

“Chris is a guy that if you had the free agent board in front of you, he was one of the top guys this summer,’’ general manager Donnie Nelson told Arlington-based on Monday. “He can probably be the best low post, throw the ball in and let him do his thing center that we’ve had in a long, long time. We’ve had some defensive centers and shot-blockers. But Chris is the kind of guy that you can establish the low post with, which will make Dirk (Nowitzki’s) life a little bit easier.’’

Kaman is still a very productive low post and mid-range scorer, but that’s about all he is at this point.  He’s not a particularly good defender and doesn’t do a very good job moving the ball once he gets his hands on it.  However, he and Dirk Nowitzki do have some chemistry from their time spent playing together for the German national team, so between giving the Mavs their first low post scorer since Roy Tarpley and his comfortability with Nowitzki they could’ve done much worse than getting Kaman for one year.

The current Mavs starting line up looks like this: Darren Collison, OJ Mayo, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Kaman.  Elton Brand, Rodrigue Beaubois, Vince Carter and rookie Jae Crowder are among the Mavs’ suddenly deep bench.  It’s still unclear how good the roster is past Dirk.  Also, that Dirk/Kaman front line is going to be murder for the Mavs’ pick and roll defense.  Still, that’s a lot of weapons and Rick Carlisle is a very good coach.  This is either going to make the Mavs incredibly entertaining or incredibly frustrating to watch.