The New Orleans Hornets are actively trying to trade center Chris Kaman, according to sources close to the process.
Although sources stressed to ESPN.com that no deal was imminent, Kaman was not with the team for its home game Friday night against Orlando while the Hornets field trade calls for him.
The Hornets, sources said, have decided to shelve Kaman until they can find a trade home for him after making the decision to give his minutes to young players. Kaman had been made inactive for Wednesday's loss at Oklahoma City even though he's not injured.
"It's just something (where) we want to play our young guys and we certainly don't want to disrespect Chris at all," Hornets coach Monty Williams told local reporters before Friday night's game against the Magic.
"This is something we want to keep internally. It's certainly not disciplinary and he understands and I talked to him. We're going to play Jason Smith, Gustavo Ayon and Al-Farouq Aminu. It's just difficult to play that many bigs and I understand how difficult it is for (Kaman) to not get the minutes he wants."
The Hornets acquired Kaman in December as part of the blockbuster deal that sent face of the franchise Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers, but it was widely assumed around the league from the start that New Orleans would turn around and trade Kaman before the March 15 deadline, at least partly because he has an expiring contract.
Kaman, who turns 30 in April, is making roughly $14 million this season. He became the oldest player on the Hornets' roster after being dealt with guard Eric Gordon, Aminu and Minnesota's unprotected 2012 first-round pick for Paul.
Capitalizing on the minutes vacated by Kaman, Ayon scored 16 points in 17 minutes against the Thunder on 8-for-10 shooting.