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Gerald Wallace for Chris Kaman Makes Sense for Everyone Except Bobcats Fans Who Are Also Gerald Wallace Connoisseurs

What's the hold up? If I'm running the Clippers, and Michael Jordan approaches me with a straight up Gerald Wallace for Chris Kaman trade, I take it in a heartbeat. Reading between the lines, that's what happened, except the Clips passed. Quickly.

There isn't a better deal out there for the Clips that turns Kaman into an upgrade at the 3/4. Just about any way you slice it, Wallace has produced more than Kaman over the past four seasons, and the only reason the Bobcats would take the deal is to take offensive pressure off Emeka and let him do his thing on defense out of the four.

-- Wallace's Win Shares are better:
W(2.5, 6.6, 7.8, 4.6) vs. K(2.0, 6.2, 2.8, 3.6)

-- Wallace's PERs are better:
W(14.1, 21.3, 19.8, 17.5) vs. K(13.1, 15.0, 12.9, 17.5)

-- Wallace's True Shooting Percentages are better:
W(.510, .578, .568, .548) vs. K(.522, .570, .502, .538)

-- Kaman tends to play against centers, and Wallace has split his time against small forwards and power forwards, but for what it's worth, Kaman is probably better defensively against centers than Wallace is against power forwards. Here are their defensive ratings, or points allowed per 100 possessions. That 106 for Wallace came when he played a good deal at the four.
W(104, 100, 104, 106) vs. K(105, 101, 103, 103)

It really does look like a golden opportunity for the Clippers to get better, especially given their context. Marcus Camby makes Kaman expendable at center. Baron Davis gets better if he's working with Wallace doing lots of things than he does having to work with Kaman only in the post.

Defensively, go down the list of teams in the West that would be able to work the Clips because Wallace would be a liability. You're basically talking about the Lakers, who can work anybody in the league with Bynum/Gasol, and the Jazz, except that Camby on Boozer and Wallace daring Okur to post him up makes some sense. Maybe the Kings, with their three guys at or about 7 feet. Probably the Trailblazers, with Aldridge next to Oden. Maybe a healthy Spurs squad, with Wallace attempting to guard Oberto. Maybe the Rockets, if Wallace has to guard Scola. That's a healthy list of maybes, but the trick is to understand that if Wallace is playing the four, all those guys that would give him trouble would have extreme trouble dealing with him, defensively. Probably more problems than they'd give him.

As for the Bobcats, Wallace is their most valuable trade chip, and though I love having him on the squad, and I wish they'd built the team in his image, it might be the most logical thing to trade him for a guy more in keeping with Emeka Okafor's spirit, given the large contract Okafor signed before the season. Chris Kaman would come in and fit. He'd force teams to sag more. The slashers would have more paint space. The shooters would have more space at the arc. It's giving up a lot to get someone not as good, but potentially with more impact to the whole.

As for Wallace, he makes his own offense, but he'd probably be better elsewhere, someplace with big men who demand attention. Someplace where teams can't double him without thinking twice. It's a shame that place isn't in Charlotte.

The only people that lose in such a deal are the Bobcats fans that take special pleasure in Wallace's style. The extra win or two this season, and a sense of direction, would soothe the pain of the loss, but it's still a loss.