Tyson Chandler and His Value To the Phoenix Suns
*Photo via AP
Last season the Phoenix Suns lacked chemistry, experience, and leadership. They went to training camp with one player over 29 years old (Shavlik Randolph). As the team looked to recapture their momentum and chemistry from the 2013-2014 season they struggled.
An overloaded backcourt with four point guards caused tension in the locker room. The front office traded away three of the four in Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas, and Tyler Ennis. Another point guard, Brandon Knight returned in the trade and was paired with Eric Bledsoe to keep a dual point guard system intact.
If you're asking yourself how the newly acquired Tyson Chandler fits into all of this, I'll tell you how. He brings balance and stability (on and off the court) to a young team. The Suns want to play fast and push the ball, and Chandler fits perfectly with their style.
"With the style of pace & way they play, I felt I could come in and bring the little things to help this team get over the top," said Chandler.
Still only 32 years old, the seven-one Chandler will immediately improve the team's defensive rebounding and shot blocking. His anchoring presence in the middle will lead to more fast break points and a vast improvement on team defense.
"He knows how to play the game. He knows how to protect his teammates, how to talk to his teammates...Tyson will be a director back there," said Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek.
A fourteen year veteran, Chandler's career numbers are impressive. Last season in Dallas he averaged 10.3 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 75 games. With the NBA's top training staff behind him, the Suns expect similar numbers from Chandler next season and for years to come.
As Bledsoe and Knight will look to attack the rim and score, Chandler will be a force on the offensive glass, averaging 3.9 offensive rebounds last season. He is also effective in the pick-and-roll, an area of weakness last season for the Suns.
Chandler's desire to win and hustling style are a much needed leadership quality on a young Suns team. "He really checked pretty much every box we were looking for," said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough.
He will look to mentor young center Alex Len, who faces a pivotal season. "I've watched him progress the last few years and think he has a lot of talent and upside," said Chandler.
In Tyson Chandler, the Suns acquired a winner to lead them to the playoffs next season. He’s an NBA champion, an Olympic gold medalist, and a former All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year.
He’ll expect big things from himself and his teammates, as they push forward in a very tough Western Conference next season.