When they selected DeAndre Ayton as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, it’s crystal clear that Tyson Chandler’s days with the Phoenix Suns are already numbered. However, instead of trying to trade him for a young player and future draft assets or buying out his contract after the February NBA trade deadline, the Suns made a surprising decision to let him go earlier in the 2018-19 NBA season.
Upon clearing waivers with the Suns, Tyson Chandler immediately signed with the Los Angeles Lakers where Suns Interim General Manager James Jones’ close pal, LeBron James, is currently playing. Most people believe that Jones did James a favor since, during those times, the Lakers were in dire need of a player of Chandler’s caliber. However, it was revealed that before he inked a new contract with the Lakers, Chandler also received strong interest from the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors.
In a recent interview with Sam Amick of The Athletic (h/t Yahoo Sports), Tyson Chandler revealed that he “heavily considered” joining the Warriors when he became an unrestricted free agent. Chandler knew he could still be a reliable contributor for the Warriors, especially with their goal to win their third consecutive NBA championship title this season. However, the presence of DeMarcus Cousins in Golden State made him decide to choose the Lakers over the Warriors.
“I just love the style of play that they play with, and so I heavily considered that and I asked them if they would like me there, and they said ‘Yeah.’ They also were completely honest, and said (how) DeMarcus is coming off injury and we don’t know what that playing time is going to be like once he gets back. And so for me, it became (a question of), ‘Where would I make the most impact?’ Do I want to go there and — back-to-back champs — just a well-oiled machine, be one of the guys, maybe be that vet on the bench after DeMarcus comes back?”
Tyson Chandler almost joined the Warriors before deciding on the Lakers https://t.co/gxqXV4uy1m— Warriors Wire (@TheWarriorsWire) January 9, 2019
If he had decided to join the Warriors, Tyson Chandler would definitely become their temporary starting center while DeMarcus Cousins is recovering from an Achilles injury. However, when Cousins returns, Chandler must be aware of the possibility that he would spend most of his time sitting on the bench. Aside from receiving a more significant role, Chandler admitted that the idea of playing alongside LeBron James, Rajon Rondo, and some of their young players convinced him to sign with the Lakers.
Since his arrival in Los Angeles, Tyson Chandler immediately made a huge impact, especially on the defensive end of the floor. As of now, the Lakers are on a two-game winning streak, sitting in the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference with a 23-19 record.