Now this is big. Literally — because Tyson Chandler is really tall — and figuratively, because Chandler is good and as a defensive-minded center should bump the Suns up just enough to make more noise in the Western conference playoff race. The Suns still face a very uphill battle to qualify for the postseason in an incredibly difficult conference, but Chandler will be a very nice addition.
In this move, Phoenix is getting a nice, key piece. Here’s the Arizona Republic reporting:
The Suns wanted size, defense, rebounding and leadership and went for it in 32-year-old center Tyson Chandler.
The Suns kicked off free agency by setting on a five-year, $70 million contract with guard Brandon Knight, which matches Eric Bledsoe’s deal from September, and added Chandler to fortify their middle as they continued pursued of star free agent LaMarcus Aldridge.
Sources confirmed agreements for Knight and Chandler with ESPN.com reporting that Chandler’s deal will be worth $52 million over four years. The Suns entered free agency with $12 million of cap space but could create more space. They have $16.2 million in cap holds for Brandan Wright and Gerald Green and a $5.5 million trade exception from the Goran Dragic deal.
Chandler is a 14-year veteran who was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2011-12.
The Dallas Mavericks, meanwhile, are in serious transition and face a lot of difficult decisions as Dirk Nowitzki’s career starts to wind down.