The Los Angeles Lakers have struggled on the defensive end so far this season. With that in mind, the team is making a move to try and bolster their frontcourt — one that’s welcomed by LeBron James.
Veteran big man Tyson Chandler has cleared waivers after going through the buyout process with the Phoenix Suns, and now plans to sign with the Lakers. Via ESPN:
After clearing waivers on a contract buyout with the Phoenix Suns, center Tyson Chandler plans to sign a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources told ESPN.
“We love the fact that we’re going to get another veteran,” Lakers star LeBron James said. “A guy who plays hard, a guy who’s very smart and another champion to add to the champions that we have in this system here today, and it adds depth in our frontcourt, which we have had trouble with at times.”
In seven games with the Suns this season, Chandler averaged 3.7 points and 5.6 rebounds in just under 13 minutes per contest. Chandler didn’t play in Friday’s 107-98 loss to the Toronto Raptors and only scored 22 total points in Phoenix’s previous four games.
The Lakers certainly could use the help in the frontcourt because JaVale McGee is one of the few players on the roster that has been efficient on the defensive end. Los Angeles is currently 23rd in the league in defensive rating, giving up 111.6 points per 100 possessions.
The 10-year veteran is currently averaging 14.4 points, and 7.7 rebounds for the Lakers, but his 3.4 blocks per contest are what really jumps off the page when it comes to McGee. McGee has registered at least three blocks in seven out of the team’s 10 games so far this season. The versatile big man has also recorded 1.0 steals per game and has accumulated at least one steal in seven of the team’s 10 games.
Chandler has put together a very successful NBA career as a rim protector. The veteran center has spent time with the Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans and New York Knicks in addition to his last four seasons with the Suns. Chandler has blocked 1.2 shots per contest over the course of his career, but only has 0.1 blocks per game with the Suns throughout seven games this season so far.
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