Lakers News: Tyson Chandler Agrees to Contract After Suns Buyout

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2018

Phoenix Suns center Tyson Chandler (4) in the first half during an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers have officially signed veteran center Tyson Chandler, general manager Rob Pelinka announced Tuesday in a statement: 

"Having observed our roster for the first 10 games of this young season, one of the areas that Earvin and I discussed with Luke that we desired to upgrade is interior defense and rebounding. In Tyson Chandler we addressed that need, and so much more. We are excited that Tyson will bring championship-level experience to our Lakers team that will solidify our veteran leadership and help positively shape our young core. We are thrilled for Tyson to join us as we progress towards our ultimate goals as a team."

Chandler recently agreed to a buyout with the Phoenix Suns after spending parts of four seasons with the team, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. 

As Marc Stein of the New York Times noted, he was always expected to sign with the Lakers after he cleared waivers thanks to the team's need for interior help. The center was set to make $13.6 million with the Suns this season.

Chandler had been playing a minor role with Phoenix this season, averaging just 12.7 minutes off the bench in seven appearances, scoring 3.7 points per game.

He had done more in the past two seasons, starting 92 of the 93 games he played before injuries caused an early end to each year. The Suns also used the time to get younger players extra playing time.

The 36-year-old finished last season averaging 6.5 points and 9.1 rebounds in 25.0 minutes per game.

Phoenix loses little production while also opening more playing time for rookie first overall pick Deandre Ayton.

Despite the modest numbers, though, Chandler has been one of the most consistent big men in the NBA throughout his 17 years in the league, spending time with six different organizations.

The former All-Star was the 2011-12 Defensive Player of the Year and has been named to All-Defensive teams three different times. This has kept him in the starting lineup most of his career even when he produces modest scoring totals.

Chandler has averaged just 8.6 PPG in his career, although he ranks in the top five among active players in both rebounds and blocks.

His efficiency has also never been in question, with his 59.6 career field-goal percentage ranking second best in NBA history behind only DeAndre Jordan.

While he might not put up big numbers with the Lakers, Chandler should still make a significant contribution in the rotation behind JaVale McGee with few other proven players at the position. He will especially be useful on the defensive end where Los Angeles ranks 27th in the NBA with 120 points allowed per game.