Kaman signs five-year extension with Clippers

Chris Kaman has signed a multiyear contract extension with the Los Angeles Clippers, and a source with knowledge of the negotiations said the deal was for five years and $52.5 million.

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.

"We are absolutely thrilled to ensure that Chris will be here
and staying with the Clippers for a long time to come," general
manager Elgin Baylor told the Associated Press. "He is one of the best young big men in
the league and we feel that he will just continue to get better."

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.

Kaman averaged 11.9 points and ranked ninth in rebounds at 9.6 per game last season.

Ric Bucher is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.