Former Portland Trail Blazer Chris Kaman is leaving his options open for the 2016-17 NBA season, according to Blazers head coach Terry Stotts. At 34 years old, the 13-year veteran center remains an unrestricted free agent. He could still be serviceable on an NBA roster if he elects not to retire. Here is what we learned from Stotts on Trail Blazers Courtside with Brian Wheeler and Michael Holton:
Wheeler: People want to know where Chris Kaman is, is he retiring, what his future might be. I always thought it was funny that he would say to you very often, "I hated every head coach I ever played for, but I like you." So that’s probably the ultimate compliment that you could ever receive from somebody. We’ll lose a lot of humor on the bus and the team planes if he’s not around, but have you talked to him at all or do you know what he’s doing?
Stotts: He’s back in Michigan. He did come back here, you know, he bought some property out in central Oregon and he came back here to get some of his stuff. I think he’s leaving his options open as far as playing next year. I don’t know where he is with that. I just heard today that he is beginning a workout regimen. He’s a talented guy. I think people know he could have helped us last year. Last year was about our young guys. He was extremely admirable in fulfilling that role. Personally, I’ve been very fortunate in my four years here to have Jared Jeffries, Earl Watson, and Chris Kaman be really, really good veteran mentors who weren’t necessarily getting to play a lot, and that meant a lot to me. So I don’t know if Chris is going to play or going to retire. I don’t think he knows right now. Unfortunately, he lost his father this summer and that was very sad news obviously. He’s dealing with that, but I think Chris is—as we all know, Chris is going to do what Chris wants to do and I can’t wait to find out.
Kaman played in just 16 games for the Blazers in 2016-17, making his biggest impact in the locker room and team practices. We know he can help a team in a sort of 2016 Elton Brand role, and perhaps more under the right circumstances. It is more a question of if he wants to at this point.