Minnesota Timberwolves: Why Tyson Chandler Could Push the Pups Back to Relevancy

Joseph Fafinski@Joseph FafinskiCorrespondent IJuly 12, 2011

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 16:  Tyson Chandler of the Dallas Mavericks celebrates after the Dallas Mavericks Victory Parade at American Airlines Center on June 16, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

If you're an avid reader of mine (and God help you if you are), you'll know I've been saying the name "Tyson Chandler" for months now.

In fact, if you're not into the idea of having the Timberwolves sign him at all costs, you might as well click yourself out of this article.

Alright, who's still with me?

Anyway, reports on June 30th came out that Tyson Chandler of the Dallas Mavericks was going to sign elsewhere, just two and a half weeks after hoisting the NBA Finals trophy.

Almost immediately, the Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings were said to be interested in the seven-footer. 

At the sound of the news, I remained patient, hoping that in seconds I would hear the Timberwolves' name added to the sweepstakes. However, like a child at a urinal, I was just going to have to stand on my toes.

After all, it makes sense to no end and it would be one step closer in concluding this hellish era we are experiencing in the Gopher State.

I know what you're thinking after first glancing at the title: how is a guy who averaged nine points and grabbed nine boards last season going to push back a team to relevancy? It's simple, really. In signing Tyson Chandler, the Minnesota Timberwolves fill both of their gaping needs, a veteran with post defense.

I know what you're thinking; isn't that what we signed Darko Milicic for?

Realistically, if you saw the NBA Finals you'll know why I longed for years of dishing Chandler star-like, low eight-figure dough – he brings unmatched defensive intensity, and his presence in the post is almost a sure thing, like Jack McCoy outsmarting the defense in Law and Order

Although Darko's "D" is the forte of his game, there is no question who is better in that department. Chandler simply wreaks havoc in the paint. At times Darko looked confused and mediocre with his hustle.

Chandler, on the other hand, doesn't have the word "slow" in his book – he simply performs at a Roger Bannister-like pace all the time. The 28-year-old also has a far better knack for accumulating rebounds as well. Kevin Love can't do all the dirty work crashing the boards next season.

Wolves fans might argue we don't need a player who complains at a more prolific rate than the number of times Vinny Testaverde changed uniforms. To naysayers, I say bring it on. He'll bring fans to the Target Center, and he will instantly become a fan favorite. Just ask Dallas.

There are better post defenders (and only a few at that), sure, but none have the heart and drive that the true X-factor of the NBA Finals had. It's as simple as that.

If the Minnesota Timberwolves are serious about contending sometime within the next few years, Chandler would be an absolutely astounding pickup in this year's free agency class. It's not like we should be afraid to give him 30 or so million over the next four campaigns. He's a veteran who would love to lead a team, and aside from becoming the second-oldest Wolf, he would have the most baggage out of any member of the roster. I'm not exaggerating at all when I say that he has the postseason experience and leadership qualities necessary to lead the talent-laden roster.

In concluding, I'd like to ask a question to Wolves' fans – you know how many fourth quarter comebacks we allowed last season. I'd guess it was somewhere in the teens. We easily could've won all those games. With Chandler in the paint, how many could we have won? How many would he have prevented as a demon in the post?

I rest my case.


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