The Los Angeles Lakers have officially signed veteran center, Tyson Chandler, following his buyout from the Phoenix Suns.
Chandler had agreed to a buyout with the Phoenix Suns, putting him on waivers. Playing this year on a contract worth about $ 13.6 million, Chandler was expected to go unclaimed on waivers. If he went unclaimed, he would be free to sign with any team of his choosing.
That is exactly what happened, as no team claimed Chandler. As a result, the Lakers have swooped in, just as they were expected to.
The Lakers welcomed Chandler to the team via their official Twitter account.
Chandler is a Compton, California native, so joining the Lakers is a homecoming for him. Chandler was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, being selected by the Los Angeles Clippers right out of high school. Chandler never played in a Clippers’ uniform, as that pick was traded to the Chicago Bulls.
Now in his 18th season in the NBA, Chandler has developed a reputation as being a great leader and veteran in the locker room.
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He has built his career on the defensive side of the ball, taking home the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2011-12 with the New York Knicks. That season, he was also on the All-NBA Third Team and All-Defensive Second Team. That was the second time he was on the second team for All-Defense, also being named to the All-Defensive First Team in 2012-13.
Chandler is no longer the player that he was during his time with the Knicks, but the Lakers do not need him to be. He will not be relied upon to play 30+ minutes per game and save the team. Instead, he will be put into a supporting role behind JaVale McGee.
McGee is off to an excellent start this season. He is having a career year thus far with the Lakers. However, the Lakers need some help behind him at the center spot. That is where Chandler can fit in.
Chandler can provide the Lakers 15-20 minutes per game, providing a presence defensively and on the boards, two areas Los Angeles struggles mightily. Chandler isn’t the same player he used to be, but he is better than what the Lakers have been using.
With Chandler in the fold, the Lakers can end their experiment of using Kyle Kuzma and LeBron James as the backup center. People will be disappointed that this will push Moritz Wagner further down the depth chart at center.
However, Wagner needs to be paired with a defensive minded player in the frontcourt. Chandler provides that, so Luke Walton could possibly be more inclined to use Wagner now that he won’t be the last line of defense.
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