tyson chandler

In the latest twist of his expected departure from the Dallas Mavericks, Tyson Chandler is closing in on a deal with the New York Knicks, according to sources close to the process.

“New York is Tyson’s first choice,” one source told ESPN.com, confirming a Thursday report from CBSSports.com that the Knicks have jumped ahead of the Golden State Warriors in the race to sign Chandler.

“It’s 98 percent sure that Tyson is going to wind up with the Knicks.”

To create sufficient salary-cap space to sign Chandler, New York is expected to shed the contracts of Chauncey Billups and Ronny Turiaf, through either trades or the forthcoming amnesty clause.

Signing Chandler, sources said, could free up the Knicks to offer star forward Amare Stoudemire to the New Orleans Hornets in a trade scenario for Chris Paul, who badly wants to reunite with Chandler after their time together with the Hornets. Sources say that’s one option New York is considering.

– Reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com

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