What appeared to be a flaw once the roster was constructed quickly reared its head as the Los Angeles Lakers were hurt by their lack of size through the first 10 games of the season. The issue was addressed Tuesday with the signing of Tyson Chandler after he cleared waivers.
Chandler figured to be a prime buyout candidate as he’s in the final year of a four-year, $52 million contract signed with the Phoenix Suns. However, he reportedly gave back over $2 million in salary in order to facilitate the buyout agreement this early in the season.
The veteran center is not only joining a team that figures to be in better position to contend and one in which Chandler should see consistent minutes, but signing with the Lakers also marks a homecoming.
The Dominguez High School product touched on the excitement that’s come with this new phase of his career, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I honestly can’t tell you how excited I am to be back home. To get an opportunity to play in front of my family, friends, everyone who supported me throughout the years. And get a chance to get back to the city but also be a part of turning this thing around. It couldn’t happen at a better time for me. … I grew up watching Shaq and Kobe, coming to the games and always was in awe of the purple and gold. Spending my career going against them, you always get more pumped when you come home to play against your home team. Now, being able to lace them up and put the jersey on, I honestly don’t even know what it’s going to feel like the first time stepping on the court.”
Although Chandler is joining a new team, he intends to bring the same attributes that have made up his career, and he is already somewhat familiar with Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma:
“Defense, leadership. I’ve been watching a lot of these guys come along. Watched Lonzo since he was in college. Watched Kuz, he played with my brother. I see the spark and fight in them. Helping them, teaching them what it takes to be champs and what it’s going to take to bring another banner here.”
Chandler and LeBron James previously shared the court together during their time together on Team USA, and the veteran center is prepared to be teammates once more:
“I’m looking forward to it. We played together a couple times on Team USA. I’ve always admired his game, but not only just his game but leadership and what he means to the game. To be able to lace it up with him, I’m going to take his lead and give him what I got.”
Chandler was averaging just 3.7 points and 4.6 in 12.7 minutes per game with the Suns this season. He seemingly fell out of the rotation as they franchise committed to their youth movement.
The Lakers will certainly welcome the size and production from the 2011-12 Defensive Player of the Year as they look to fortify the center position back of JaVale McGee.