5 Reasons Why the Los Angeles Lakers Shouldn’t Trade for Tyson Chandler
5 Reasons Why The Lakers Should Pass on Tyson Chandler
When the season began, everyone knew the Los Angeles Lakers would struggle until Kobe Bryant returned -- which didn’t last long -- and everyone thought the New York Knicks would be a top five Eastern Conference team. A third of the way through the season, the Lakers are struggling without Kobe and the Knicks are in the bottom five of the Eastern Conference. Now the rumor has been floated that the Lakers are interested in acquiring Tyson Chandler, but while that sounds like a good move, it’s really not.
Through a third of the season, the Lakers have used four different centers. Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill have been their frontcourt combo for most of the season with Hill playing the center position. Chris Kaman and Robert Sacre have also seen time at the position, which just adds to the instability.
For the Knicks, Chandler has been a powerhouse down low since signing with the team last year. He has been their defensive anchor and helped carry them to the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Indiana Pacers last season. But, with the Knicks appearing to be a lost cause this season, the idea of blowing up the roster has brought us to the possibility of trading Chandler .
It’s always easy to think a big name player can help out any team, but the Lakers learned last year with Dwight Howard that it’s not always that simple and the same can be said for bringing in Chandler. Here are the five reasons why the Lakers should stay away from trading for Chandler.
5. Tyson Chandler's Injury Concerns
With all the recent injuries the Lakers have dealt with between Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, bringing in another player who is coming off a fractured right leg injury isn't ideal. Chandler is in his 12th NBA season, so it's not unassuming that this injury could begin to plague him. The Lakers can't afford to continue to lose their best players to injury. This wouldn't be the biggest concern, but still something to think about before pulling the trigger.
4. Tyson Chandler's Lack of Offense
Tyson Chandler isn't known for his offense, which is fine because the Lakers lack of interior defense is their biggest weakness and Chandler's biggest strength. But trading out Pau Gasol's career 18.3 points per game for Chandler's career 8.7 points is a big drop off. The Lakers are currently ranked 15th in the NBA in points scored per game (100.3) and have only had Kobe Bryant for six games. With the recent loss of Kobe once again, the 14.7 points per game that Gasol is scoring this year is even more crucial.
3. Tyson Chandler Isn't The Missing Piece For a Lakers Championship
The Lakers have theoretically three seasons, including this year, to win a championship before Kobe Bryant retires. With Kobe's rash of injuries lately, that timeline could change or he could even sign another extension, but either way Tyson Chandler isn't the final piece of the puzzle to push them back into the Finals. Chandler would be a big help defensively and Kobe would take care of the offensive part, however, the Lakers would be left with little cap space and a gaping whole at small forward and power forward. Those could potentially be fixed as part of the trade if the Knicks are willing to give up a little more to get out of the mess they've created. It's just not something to count on.
2. Lakers Would Have to Take Back a Bad Contract
One of the bigger disadvantages for the Lakers in this trade would be having to take back at least one bad contract to match up the salaries. With Pau Gasol at $19 million and Chandler at $14 million, the Lakers would need to take on roughly $5 million more. If the Knicks were smart, they would package J.R. Smith's three-year, $17.9 million contract. The Lakers have no use for Smith, but they could make the Knicks throw in Iman Shumpert who they really want. While landing Shumpert would be nice, having cap space would be even better.
1. No Cap Space for 2014 Free Agency
If the Lakers were to trade for Tyson Chandler, they would have to give up Pau Gasol. Gasol is in the final year of his contract, but Chandler still has another year left on his at $14.59 million. Add in the bad contract of J.R. Smith at $5.98 million next year and Kobe Bryant's $23.5 million extension, and the Lakers can kiss their 2014 free agency away. With the possibility of Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James headlining the class, the Lakers would be foolish to go into the offseason with no open cap space.