Tyson Chandler rejected pre-deadline trade to NBA contender to stick with lowly Suns

Tyson Chandler could help a lot of teams. He could be the difference for a playoff squad looking to get a round further. He brings size, strength, and most importantly, experience and leadership. He’s an NBA champion and a former Defensive Player of the Year. He could have been highly sought after in the trade market. 

Instead, the Arizona Republic reports that Chandler told Suns management at the deadline he didn’t want to be dealt, and they acquiesced to his wishes. 

As his name surfaced in trade rumors, Tyson Chandler said he’d simply deal with it whenever management brought something to his “doorstep.” A few weeks later, after a pre-trade-deadline practice, the Suns veteran center met with General Manager Ryan McDonough in a conference room at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Exactly what was discussed that day is not known, but it came down to this: McDonough and team owner Robert Sarver asked Chandler his preference: go to a postseason contender or stay with the rebuilding Suns in a limited on-court role.

In his 16th season, Chandler chose to stay.

“That’s true,” he said after Tuesday’s practice. “I feel like it’s a journey I started that I want to see through. If things change, I don’t know, but as long as I’m here, I’m going to try and do what’s right by these young fellas. I didn’t want to go nowhere. I wanted to be with these dudes and finish it out.”

via Given choice by owner, GM, Suns’ Chandler decided to stay

This is a really noble decision by Chandler. He’s locked in for two more years with the Suns at over $13 million, and only has so many seasons left. But he really felt like the players “needed” him as said later in the article. It’s a good thing for the Suns and a kind thing Chandler did, but it’s also a shame. He could have helped a real contender, brought a team closer to being good. 

Tyson Chandler puts his hands up
Tyson Chandler put the brakes on a trade this season. USATSI

Chandler still can’t get the Suns where they need to be. The team once again failed to make gains this season, and are playing out the string of the season with nothing on the line. Eric Bledsoe seems like a waste of money there for how good he is. Brandon Knight has one of the worst plus-minus marks in the NBA. They have young bigs who need time, and younger bigs who need even more time. There’s a core there that could someday be good, but the Suns have shown zero capacity to actually convert them into a competitive team. 

Chandler is doing a good thing for players who will benefit from his guidance for years to come. But those days will probably come when neither Chandler, nor those youngsters, are on the Suns any longer. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Moore's colleagues have been known to describe him as a "maniac" in terms of his approach to covering the NBA, which he has done for CBS Sports since 2010. Moore prides himself on melding reporting,... Full Bio

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