Done deal.  From Ric Bucher over at ESPN.com:

Chris Kaman has signed a five-year, $52.5 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to source with knowledge of the negotiations.

The extension, which was agreed to and signed late Friday night, takes effect for the 2007-08 season and includes incentive clauses that could bring it to $55 million.

And it also includes a "trade kicker" that would give the center a 15 percent raise -- a maximum value of $7.5 million -- if he were dealt to another team. For Kaman, that's insurance he'll be staying in L.A., or at worst, compensated nicely if he's ever dealt.

It was believed a number of teams were considering offering Kaman a maximum contract next summer if he became a free agent.

The Clippers are expected to make a formal announcement of the deal on Sunday.

The deal also clears the way for the Clippers to begin talks in earnest with coach Mike Dunleavy, who wanted to be certain the team would commit to re-signing its core before agreeing to a long-term extension...

Good news all around.  It's a lot of money, but when you consider the basketball VORP factor , a scoring center who can block shots is probably among the most valuable commodities in the L.  In an era when the pure center is a dying breed, Kaman should be a force, one that allows the Clippers - who also have among the best PFs in basketball, a big backcourt and a fierce penetrator -- to become one of the premier interior teams in the league.   


Projected starting lineups: 

 

 

06-07

07-08

08-09

09-10

10-11

PG

Sam/Shaun

Livingston

Livingston

Livingston

Livingston

SG

Mobley

Mobley

Mobley

Mobley

Go younger.

SF

Maggette/Ross

Maggette/Ross

Can Q become the next Bruce Bowen?

PF

Brand

Brand

Brand

Extend the guy, duh.

C

Kaman

Kaman

Kaman

Kaman

Kaman




This presumes that Brand will exercise his $15.14M option in 08-09.  I'd also like to think that the Clippers will work out a Nowitzi-esque extension for Elton once they close up shop of Livingston's deal.  Maggette, I'm almost certain, will walk after 07-08, if the Clippers don't deal him first.  We also learned today that Yaroslav Korolev won't be filling that SF role down the road unless the Clips can work out a new, lesser deal after Korolev becomes a free agent following season's end.