With Deandre Ayton in town, there is almost no role for Tyson Chandler in Phoenix, and he’s playing limited minutes a night in a backup role (89 for the entire season). The sides had talked buyout before, but Chandler was not about to surrender any of his $13.6 million salary unless he had a team that could take him on and give him a quality role.
Enter the Lakers, a team in desperate need of a solid, veteran backup big.
The buyout is happening and Chandler will soon land with the Lakers, according to multiple reports, with Marc Stein of the New York Times breaking the news.
What do the Suns get out of this? They save cash, whatever discount Chandler gives them on the buyout is money they keep.
For the Lakers, this is a solid pickup. How much Chandler has in the tank remains to be seen — he is 36 and hasn’t been asked to play much of a role for years now. He may not be able to help that much, but for the same reason JaVale McGee is thriving in a very defined role Chandler may as well. For Los Angeles, this is a good role of the dice because if he can give them 15 minutes a night Chandler brings precisely what they need.
When the Lakers have the rim-protecting JaVale McGee on the court, their defense is 17.2 points per 100 possessions better, and has the numbers of a top five defense. However, when he sits they are dreadful, and the result is a defense that is bottom 10 overall. The hope is Chandler can provide some defense and rim protection with the second unit and help keep McGee’s minutes under control. The Lakers have gotten some solid minutes out of rookie Johnathan Williams, but the rookie is inconsistent (as rookies tend to be).