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Wednesday October 15, 2008 10:20 am

Dropping Dimes Mock Draft: Round 4, Pick 6 - Chris Kaman

Chris Kaman and Dirk Nowitzki

This team needs a center. Dirk Nowitzki remains a very safe and reliable first round pick, but he lost his center eligibility years ago, his defensive stats have been in decline. Plus, although he picked it up at the end of the year, overall his three-point shooting is not enough of an impact to negate the lack of blocks and relative lack of rebounds. Baron Davis and Paul Pierce represent an exciting and formidable fantasy back-court. That next level tier of guards comes up in the fifth and sixth rounds, so it is a green light to go big here.

Currently this guy has an average draft position of 49.0 on Yahoo, so we tab him a bit earlier than that here at 42nd overall.

Round 4, Pick 6: Chris Kaman, C, Los Angeles Clippers

The Fig Cap: Hey Dirk, we get to roll together on this team just like Team Germany!

Check out the season-to-season review of Kaman and the major categories he contributes in.

2005-06: 78 GP, 52.3 FG%, 77.0 FT%, 12.0 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 1.4 bpg

2006-07: 75 GP, 45.1 FG%, 74.1 FT%, 10.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.6 bpg

2007-08: 56 GP, 48.3 FG%, 76.2 FT%, 15.7 ppg, 12.7 rpg, 2.8 bpg

A very promising 2005-06 season catapulted Kaman up to a late third or early fourth round selection in 2006 (not unlike what we currently see with Andrew Bynum). Hopefully Bynum delivers on that promise and potential better than Kaman did, because his FG%, FT%, points and rebounds all took a hit in 2006-07. And so in 2007 he was drafted much later, and except for him missing 26 games, he was one of the best value picks last year.

Marcus Camby partners with Kaman this year, but Kaman should still clear at least nine boards a game. Kaman should also continue to get his share of blocks, although expecting something close to last year’s 2.8 swats a game would be pushing it. The potential in an improvement lies in his scoring. Brand missed most of last season, but nonetheless the Clippers essentially replaced a 20 ppg player in Brand with a 9 ppg player in Camby. Baron Davis should absorb most of the scoring that Corey Maggette did last year. Al Thornton seems slated to start for the team at small forward and is a popular pick to average around 14-15 ppg. It would not take too much for Kaman to up his scoring to the 16-18 ppg range. He has proven that he can shoot better than 50% over an entire season before.

Kaman can play a key role on small ball teams, because his 75% free-throw shooting plays very well. Baron Davis has shot about 75% from the line himself over the past two seasons, so led by Dirk, this team should win that category most weeks based on the personnel so far. The fifth and sixth round picks should help clear up which direction this team ultimately takes. Improvement in the hustle stats remains necessary, and rebounding will not hold up yet against the big teams even with Kaman in two. However, there are a lot of 10-10 players yet to be picked.

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