Veteran center Tyson Chandler signed a four-year, $52 million contract with the Phoenix Suns last summer. He was supposed to fill a major void inside for a team that had playoff aspirations.
Since, things have not gone according to plan for either the player or the team.
Phoenix entered Sunday’s action with a 19-50 record. Following a decent 8-9 start to the season, the Suns have lost 41 of a possible 52 games, one of the worst marks in the entire Association.
For Chandler, this season has been especially frustrating. After missing 11 games earlier in the year to injury, the former No. 2 overall pick has not been able to pick it up. He’s averaging just 6.5 points and 8.6 rebounds while playing less than 24 minutes per game.
Despite the Suns’ young talent and their improved play under interim head coach Earl Watson, Chandler himself doesn’t seem to like the direction the team is heading. In this, he’s apparently angling for a way out of the desert:
“For me, especially where I am in my career, I want to win,” Chandler said late last week, via the Arizona Republic. “I want to win now. I’m not in any kind of rebuilding stage. So if that’s the case, it ain’t where I’m supposed to be.”
The 33-year-old Chandler is right in assuming Phoenix won’t be competing for a title anytime soon. The issues with potentially demanding a trade include his age, lack of recent production and what has to be considered an unfriendly contract.
Is any contending team going to want to take on his $13 million annual salary? We can’t be too sure of that.
What we do know is that the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers have in the past shown interest in Chandler’s services.
If Phoenix were to actually put the big man on the trade block, it would have to take on an equally unfriendly contract.
For Golden State, that makes a deal highly unlikely as most of the team’s contracts are less restrictive. It also doesn’t have a glaring need at center. Cleveland could offer an equally unproductive Tristan Thompson, but that seems to be more of a lateral move more than anything.
This leads us to believe that while Chandler might want out of Phoenix, contending teams aren’t necessarily going to be kicking down the Suns door to acquire him.