Tyson Chandler was the anchor of the Mavericks championship defense. In an era with no hands allowed on the perimeter, you can’t win without a big who can protect the rim. He was a key change that took them from contender to pretender.
In a surprise development on the first day that NBA teams and agents could start talking about new contracts, Tyson Chandler came away convinced that his time with the Dallas Mavericks is coming to an end.
ESPN’s Chris Broussard and Marc Stein have the report:
“I really think I’m going to be on a new team come training camp,” Chandler told ESPN.com in a telephone interview Wednesday night. “I’m really taking a hard look at all of my options, trying to see what best suits me.”
Chandler insisted Wednesday that such assumptions are a misnomer and admitted for the first time that he’s disappointed by the club’s decision not to offer him a contract extension after he was widely credited — most notably by Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki — for changing the team’s defensive culture after three first-round exits in the previous four years.
Chandler’s injury history makes him a bit of a risk, and any team that pays for him in free agency will definitely be buying high, but Chandler is one of the most efficient offensive players in basketball and a legitimate force at the defensive end who helped propel the Mavericks to a championship. If Chandler does leave the Mavericks, expect nearly every team with cap space — and a lot of contenders without cap space who will be praying that Chandler will take a pay cut to play with them — to start bidding for Chandler’s services.
According to Stein and Broussard, one reason the Mavericks may be willing to let Chandler go is that they are hoping to join next off-season free-agent frenzy, when Dwight Howard, Deron Williams, and Chris Paul may all be available. We’ll keep you updated on this as it develops.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.
After a bumpy season where the he fought with Suns coaches, then a summer where he and his twin Marcus felt they were blindsided by a trade, Markieff Morris has been plenty vocal about his unhappiness in Phoenix. To the point it has cost him some serious cash.
So what should we expect from Markieff Morris’ upcoming season?
Relative calm, I tell Jenna Corrado of NBCSports in this latest edition of PBT Extra previewing the NBA season.
The reasons are twofold. First, he has to realize the Suns aren’t trading him anyway (especially not while he publicly demands a trade, lowering his trade value). Second, can you imagine how new locker room leader Tyson Chandler is going to react to that? Chandler was brought in to fill a leadership void in the locker room, and you can bet he will make his displeasure at such team-disrupting antics known.
Still not sure if that’s enough to get the Suns to the playoffs.