Lakers Sign Tyson Chandler
The Lakers deficiencies at the center position have been well documented. Outside of JaVale McGee their most capable player at the five is rookie Johnathan Williams. The signing of veteran big man Tyson Chandler will help fill the void at the spot.
Phoenix’s decision to buyout Chandler immediately brought up the immediate possibility of Los Angeles as his next destination.
The new Lakers backup center was originally selected by the franchise with the number 2 overall pickup back in 2001. He provides another rim running presence and solid rebounding despite his age. Chandler has quite the resume behind him:
3 x All-NBA Defensive Team
2012 All-NBA Third Team
2012 Defensive Player of the Year
2011 NBA champion
His best days may be behind him but Chandler won’t be asked to extend himself more than his capabilities. Across his entire career he’s essentially been good for 10 rebounds per 36 minutes. He’s also currently 5th in active players for total rebound percentage.
McGee has been averaging the most minutes of his career (27.1) since he was in Washington 7-years ago. While he’s exceeded expectations the arrival of Chandler lessens the workload for JaVale in a significant way.
Coach Walton can bring back his minutes to the low-20s and give his new center around the 10-15 minute range. It also means the coach doesn’t have to roll out super small lineups with Kuzma at the five, which have experienced mixed success.
An interesting tidbit to Chandler’s situation is how it affects his now former team. As Woj and Albert Nahmad reported, if the Compton native had found a home before training camp it would’ve allowed Phoenix to sign highly touted 2nd round rookie, De’Anthony Melton to a long term deal. Having that flexibility and security on a cheap, talented, young prospect certainly wouldn’t have hurt the Suns as they look to rebuild their franchise back into a playoff contender in the coming years.
LeBron James has high hopes for McGee as a possible Defensive Player of the Year candidate. The arrival of Chandler should allow him to provide even greater energy on both ends of the floor as his initial 8 games have seen him overworked to an extent. Chandler’s presence won’t solve all the issues the Lakers are currently experiencing but it certainly helps in some ways.