Caplan: UFA C Chris Kaman Picked Mavericks Over Blazers

Jeff Caplan of reports that the Portland Trail Blazers nearly landed New Orleans Hornets unrestricted free agent center Chris Kaman before he ultimately signed with the Dallas Mavericks. ---------------------------------- "The last three days I’ve been going back and forth between Portland and Dallas and I know (Portland general manager) Neil Olshey up there pretty well," Kaman said Thursday morning when he joined Chuck Cooperstein and Tim MacMahon on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. "The offers were both very close, so it was just kind of a call where I felt a little more comfortable and I really like Dallas the city. The organization does a great job taking care of their players and their people and I’m excited for the chance to see what I can do there." It didn't hurt that Kaman and Dirk Nowitzki have become good friends. Nowitzki convinced Kaman, a Michigan native whose grandparents are German, to join him on the German national team that competed in the 2008 Olympics. Now, they become teammates in Dallas with Kaman instantly becoming the most accomplished low-post scorer Dirk has ever played with. ---------------------------------- Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports that Kaman agreed to a 1-year deal worth $8 million. Kaman was also considered by the Indiana Pacers before the ultimately decided to retain restricted free agent center Roy Hibbert. Portland agreed to make a 4-year, $58 million max offer sheet to Hibbert before Indiana decided to retain him. Kaman, 30, averaged 13.1 points and 7.7 rebounds for the Hornets in 2011-12 after being traded to New Orleans by the Los Angeles Clippers. -- Ben Golliver | | Twitter