Tyson Chandler looks to be on the outs in New York.
To say the Knickerbockers are having a bad season is a bit of an understatement. A team most pegged to finish near the top half of the Eastern Conference currently sits with a 21-40 record. That may not be so bad if the Knicks owned their own first-round pick in the upcoming draft, but alas, they do not. From "shoelace gate" to players picking up gun charges to very real fears their star player Carmelo Anthony may leave in the offsesaon, it doesn't feel too great to be a Knick these days.
This woe-be-gone season is not lost on the Knicks' veteran big man.
With the Knicks in chaos, owner James Dolan is going to look to rebuild or reload at season’s end. Whether Chandler, who is starting to show signs of age, is part of the blueprints is unclear. And Chandler may not want to stick around either.
“That’s something I have to visit during the offseason,’’ Chandler said. “We’re all going to have a lot of decisions to make.’’
With his contract expiring in 2015, the Knicks could shop Chandler for draft picks and another asset. Chandler eagerly signed a free-agent four-year, $65 million contract in 2011, thinking he had a chance to win a second title.
But he’s getting beyond frustrated as the Knicks are close to playing out the string.
“For me, it’s important regardless [to finish out strong],’’ Chandler said. “I got a lot more pride than this, coming in night in, night out losing, and not putting forth the type of effort it takes to win. At this stage of my career and what I’ve established, I refuse to let it put a blemish on it.’’
So if the Knicks do look to deal Chandler, could Boston, a team desperately in need of a center, be a potential landing spot?
Chandler is owed a little over $14.5 million next year in the last year of a deal he signed in 2011. That's quite the price tag for a center who will be 32 years old at the start of next season and who's already starting to show his age. Out of 61 games this season, Chandler has only played in 37 of them due to injury. Statistically though, Chandler is still putting up slightly better than career averages this year with 8.9 ppg, 10.2 rpg and 1.4 bpg in just over 30 minutes per contest.
He's a double-double threat, but a very expensive one and far from any kind of scoring option. Who knows how long his body will hold up as 2014-15 will be his 13th season. If the Knicks think they can get draft picks and young players for Chandler, which they probably do because...they're the Knicks, then more power to them. Boston GM Danny Ainge should try his best not to laugh out loud over the phone if the Knicks come calling on the Celtics to facilitate a Chandler deal.
Even assuming the price to trade for Chandler was a ham sandwich, Chandler is simply paid way too much for where the Celtics are in the rebuilding process. Yes, the need a center, but not that badly. The team can pick up a big man or two in the draft or sign a relatively nice free agent center. Spencer Hawes, Marcin Gortat and Chris Kaman are all set to hit the market this summer and all figure to command a much lower salary than what Chandler will make.
Chandler is a tough, gritty player who would more than likely be embraced by Boston's fanbase for his "no excuses, play your ass off" style, but he's too old and makes way too much money. Boston is already at its quota with players like that, right Gerald?