Brooklyn Nets forward Wilson Chandler has been suspended for 25 games after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug Ipamorelin, the NBA announced Thursday. This is just the latest in a series of setbacks for Chandler as he attempts to get his career back on track.
Chandler released the following statement after the news was announced:
Wilson Chandler:— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 29, 2019
During my injury rehab process, before I signed with the Nets, I was prescribed a treatment that included small doses of a substance recently added to the NBA’s prohibited substance list. I did not realize this substance was banned, and neither did the doctor...
Chandler's full statement:
"During my injury rehab process, before I signed with the Nets, I was prescribed a treatment that included small doses of a substance recently added to the NBA's prohibited substance list. I did not realize this substance was banned, and neither did the doctor. Chandler continued: I accept responsibility and apologize to my Nets teammates, coaches, front office and fans for this mistake. I will continue to work hard to prepare for the upcoming season."
Chandler missed the entire 2015-16 season with a labral tear in his hip. He returned to play 71 games for the Denver Nuggets during the 2016-17 season, but his effectiveness had already begun to decline. His scoring dropped by over five points per game for the 2017-18 season, and he played in only 51 games last season for the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers due to both injuries and ineffectiveness.
He still managed to secure a one-year deal with the Nets this offseason, however, and that could have served as a launching pad for the rest of his career. The Nets are expected to be a playoff team this season and contend for a title a year from now when Kevin Durant is expected to return from his ruptured Achilles tendon, but they also have a history of revitalizing older wings. DeMarre Carroll and Jared Dudley are the most prominent recent examples.
But now, given this suspension, Chandler's place on the team is uncertain. The Nets currently have 15 players under guaranteed contracts, so signing someone else would require waiving a player, but with Chandler and Durant both out, that may be a path that they consider to replace some of their lost depth on the wing. Carmelo Anthony Nets players earlier in the offseason, though it is not known if the Nets have any interest in him or any other free agents at this time.
Training camp is still weeks away, so the Nets have time to make a decision. They may simply prefer to evaluate the players in their building and see if any of their non-guaranteed camp invites shine, or perhaps allot Chandler's minutes to a player already on the roster. How they handle this situation is still uncertain, but for now, Chandler's bounce-back season is going to be put on hold.