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Tyson Chandler Uncertain He Wants to Be Part of New York Knicks Future

AUBURN HILLS, MI - MARCH 3: Tyson Chandler #6 of the New York Knicks takes a free throw during a game against the Detroit Pistons on March 3, 2014 at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by D. Williams/Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2014

You know an NBA team has reached new levels of disgraceful when it cannot even retain players under contract.

On the heels of a 96-85 loss to the Detroit Pistons Monday night, New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler expressed doubt over his future in the Big Apple.

"That’s something I have to visit during the offseason," Chandler said, via the New York Post's Marc Berman. "We’re all going to have a lot of decisions to make."

To be clear, Chandler is not a free agent this summer. His contract runs through next season, thus keeping him in orange and blue in 2015. That is, unless he forces his way out.

As an expiring contract, the former Defensive Player of the Year is a valuable asset. Though he's made a habit of missing point-blank opportunities on offense and leading individual defensive mutinies of late, Chandler is still considered a top-notch defender and valuable offensive rebounder.

Trading him was always something the Knicks were bound to explore this summer as they look to retool their wildly disappointing roster. But if they dealt Chandler, it was assumed it would be on their own terms.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 14: Teammates Pablo Prigioni #9 Tyson Chandler #6  and Carmelo Anthony #7 and J.R. Smith #8 of the New York Knicks  congratulate each other during a timeout in a game against the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden in New York C
NBA Photos/Getty Images

Losing Carmelo Anthony to free agency is one thing. Being forced to ship out an unhappy big man still on the books for another year is a different thing entirely.

Chandler is also one of the few selling points New York has when asking begging Anthony to return. Aside from him and Tim Hardaway Jr.—and perhaps Pablo Prigioni if head coach Mike Woodson wasn't hell-bent on not playing him—the Knicks roster reads like a who's who of overpaid incompetence. 

If this were 2015, when the Knicks plan on bankrolling a free-agency binge, it wouldn't be so much of a problem. Chandler's disquiet would be a footnote. The Knicks could let him walk and use the cap space to chase a superstar sidekick for Anthony.

Cap space doesn't exist in New York this summer, though, when the Knicks will essentially be hoping Anthony values money over winning. Seriously, that's what they're left with

Lack of adjustments and losing can be "overlooked" if the Knicks are still battling with a sense of pride. But they have no pride.

All their fight has vanished, leaving New York on the outskirts of the playoffs, hoping Anthony's potential departure doesn't start an alarming trend.

"At this point, man, I’m kind of running out of comments to talk to you guys about," Anthony said following the loss to Detroit, per the New York Daily News' Peter Botte. "It seems like it’s becoming repetitive, saying the same thing over and over. We gotta try to find something else to talk about."

Something tells me the Knicks' inability to appease players already locked in beyond this season isn't what Anthony had in mind.

 

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