Tyson Chandler Close To Going to Thunder, Marc Stein Says

Michael KarapetianContributor IIFebruary 17, 2009

The down economy bites again as the New Orleans Hornets are close to trading Tyson Chandler to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The deal seems to be a clear cost-cutting move as the Hornets will receive the expiring contracts of Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox in return, along with a possible draft pick, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.

Chandler is considered by many to be one of the league's top 10 centers. With the Hornets in playoff contention, this looks like a bad move at first glance. Breaking it down further, the Hornets may be sacrificing this season, but they will be saving over $20 million, which seems to be the key in this economy.

The Thunder make out great here. Chandler is still relatively young at the age of 26, and fits in nicely with what the Thunder seem to be trying to build with Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green, Kevin Durant, and even Nenad Krstic. If they draft James Harden in the offseason, they could be well on their way to building a solid team for years.