Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tyson Chandler to Oklahoma City

Tyson Chandler was traded to the Thunder for Chris Wilcox and Joe Smith, along with the 50th pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. It's a salary-based trade, and here's the fallout:

When it comes to making trades in the NBA, teams are a lot more strange than us Fantasy GMs. They think a lot more about money and long-term advantages than short-term gain (unless, of course, a championship is a possibility). In the case of the recent Tyson Chandler trade, the Hornets didn't feel like they could win a title, and instead got rid of a bit of a cancer on their team.


New Orleans loses a great rebounder and alley-oop finisher in Tyson Chandler, but the truth is, he wasn't much of a scorer. In Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox, the team adds valuable frontcourt depth - something that was exposed when Chandler and David West went down before the All-Star Break. Both Smith and Wilcox can score as well, and it's likely Wilcox gets the remaining starts at center this year.

Expect him to contribute around 10-12 points and 6-8 rebounds a night, as long as he stays healthy and starts. Wilcox seems to be the biggest winner in this deal.


Oklahoma City has some pretty obvious reasons for landing Chandler - I mean, the guy is a rebounding machine (when healthy), and he's still a young player. As a member of the Thunder, he'll have plenty of rebounding opportunities, but it's likely that with Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant around, the scoring chances will be few and far between.

Good news, though - the blocks should go up, as the perimeter defense will likely filtered to Chandler instead of having opposing point guards systematically locked-down by Chris Paul on most nights.

Chandler could be "the missing piece" in OKC's development puzzle... this team should grow into a contender over the next few years.

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