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Free agent profile: Wilson Chandler

60621675This is the seventh post in a series of profiles analyzing a free agent and how he might fit in with the Lakers.

Wilson Chandler, Nuggets forward

Type of free agent: Restricted

Positives: Chandler arrived in Denver last season as part of the deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks and showed some encouraging signs for a fifth-year player. Nuggets Coach George Karl immediately noticed Chandler helping on weakside defense and on the perimeter. He averaged 12.5 points per game, thanks to a knack for scoring in bunches with both outside shots and drives to the basket. And he appeared willing to come off the bench, though he's talented enough to assume a starting spot on most teams.

Chandler doesn't have an outgoing personality that would resonate in a locker room. Chandler is known to be rather quiet, but he makes up for it with a willingness to hustle on defense and on the boards. He also can play multiple positions at shooting guard, small forward and power forward.

Negatives: This might just be part of the growing pains, but Chandler showed a few signs last season that he still has plenty of room to develop.  His shooting percentage dropped from 46.1% in New York to 41.9% in Denver. Chandler became a non-factor in the first round of the playoffs against Oklahoma City, where he averaged 4.8 points per game and shot a combined one-of-14 in Games 2, 3 and 4. Signs of  frustration during adversity also indicate that he remains a project. The Denver Post's Benjamin Hochman also noted that Chandler lacked "consistency" and "intensity" at certain points during the season and that he never felt fully comfortable with the Nuggets, leading to further questions on how Chandler could adapt to a Lakers team that boasts even greater depth. 

Verdict: Hochman indicated the Nuggets expect to re-sign him, but Wilson made it clear when he arrived with the Nuggets that he would be open to moving elsewhere. He has steadily improved in points per game through five seasons since entering the NBA in 2007 after his sophomore year at DePaul, so it's conceivable he'll spark more demand around the league and a heftier contract. 

Adding more depth to the forward spot isn't exactly a pressing need for the Lakers, but Chandler would be a viable option particularly if the Lakers decide to ship away Lamar Odom and the two years and $17 million remaining on his contract. In some way, Chandler is a poor man's Odom. If nothing else, Chandler, 24, could suit the Lakers for the long term, considering Matt Barnes has one year remaining on his contract, while Odom and Luke Walton each have two more years. 

Related Posts

Free agent profile: Samuel Dalembert

Free agent profile: Shawne Williams

Free agent profile: J.R. Smith

-- Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Wilson Chandler challenges a shot by Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler in a game in April  at Staples Center. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire

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you wrote: I just don’t think you can attribute his hesitancy to incorporate the sky hook in his repertoire as Drew slighting Kareem.

my response: umm ... Why are you fixated on the sky hook?


thanks for the reply.

To be honest, I was thinking less of the Skyhook and more about general
overall game.

Posted by: hobbitmage | June 20, 2011 at 03:18 PM

My original question was not about a particular move and more about his
overall style of play. So, I'm not talking about the skyhook.

@HOBBITMAGE … I thought I answered that. As far as learning how to play center in the NBA, I think Kareem was a perfect mentor. As far as modeling his game on Kareem, Drew is a different kind of player than Kareem was. For that role, someone like Moses Malone would have been better.

You did answer about the difference in builds. Then you started talking about
the skyhook again, which confused me. Thanks for the info about Moses

I'm not buying this baloney sandwhich about physical limitations of not being able to put up a sky hook.

That is such garbage.

Okay, now for disclaimer... I'm not saying I expect Drew or anyone else to be able to throw the sky hook like Kareem did, BUT I expect that if you're athletic enough to make the NBA (that means even Mark Madsen), you have the ability learn how to throw a standing hook and do it in a game.

I could do it. I had a friend that could do it even better. Kareem learned much of it from G. Mikan - I learned it from an old friend of mine (a little guard that was pretty good back in the 60s and 70s).... I can tell you, just about anyone can learn it.

Andrew Bynum has NO excuse. NONE. I don't care if his core is the size of Texas or if his waist is the size of a peanut, he can do it, and he can do it in a GAME.

He's just too chicken, or lacks the discipline to actually get good enough to perform it (on occasion) so that the defense has to adjust and open up to where now Bynum has more options such as a drop step pivot or up and under.

I'm overall fairly pleased with Bynum, but this is one area I will not give him credit. He needs to prove that he's not lazy. Learn some go-to post moves. Even Gasol can throw a hook with both hands better than Drew, and that's without the one on one coaching with the master of the shot.

Magic Johnson got it down, and he wasn't even a post player. I guarantee you Kobe could do it... what's Bynum's excuse? Oh yeah, he's too big. LOL

Magic Johnson got it down, and he wasn't even a post player. I guarantee you Kobe could do it... what's Bynum's excuse? Oh yeah, he's too big. LOL

Posted by: Tim-4-Show | June 20, 2011 at 06:35 PM
Actually Kobe scored on a hook in the playoffs this year. It was a "baby" sky hook ala Magic. I believe it was in the New Orleans series.

Pau on possibly being traded....

"My desire is to stay with the Lakers. I don't have control over it but I want to stay with the Lakers for as many years as I can to be able to remain eligible for the maximum possible championships," Gasol told reporters in the northeastern city of Alicante.
single digit temperatures and double digit inches of snow...are great motivators.


I didn't have a problem with deleting those posts and as for as your comment about me fighting with everyone...Get your facts straight, unless you feel JAMF and Laker Tom are everyone.

And since I mentioned it, I don't appreciate LakerTom insinuation or classification at Posted by: LakerTom | June 20, 2011 at 08:58 AM

Didn't JAMF go through real hell with that subject?

LakerTom owes me an apology and that post should be deleted.

Like I said earlier, I didn't start this thing but for the sake of this blog I will stop as long as the other parties in question do the same.

Is that acceptable to you?

@TIM-4-SHOW … LOL. Come on, Tim. If the sky hook was that easy to learn, somebody would be using it right now. It has been replaced in today’s game with the jump hook, which you never saw in Kareem’s day. The sky hook if you do it correctly off of 1 foot is a total finesse touch move, much more difficult to master than the jump hook. In a way, it’s like the footwork for a high diver. It’s a ballet like move that if it were as simple to master as you say would be used today. Like Rick Barry’s underhanded free throws and old timer’s 2-handed set shots, it has become extinct in today’s game.

@TIM-4-SHOW ... Asking Drew to shoot a sky hook is liking asking him to do a ballet move. The guy on the team who really has the finesse and finger touch to shoot the sky hook is Pau Gasol. And yet neither he nor the Lakers had any interest in having Kareem teach him the shot. It’s not Drew’s shot.

Okay. WRT all these free agents, consider this:

The Lakers are currently at 89.8 million in contracts for next season (not counting luxury tax. Last season, they actually dumped off Sasha in a pure money saving act. So clearly, they're not all that comfortable spending in the high 90's.

Denver's qualifying offer to Wilson Chandler is about 3 million, but he'll probably get more than that. And JR Smith will probably get closer to MLE level money (if there is an MLE).

So my thought is this: How much are the Lakers going to be willing to spend? Would they drop 4-5 million (and another 4-5 in luxury tax) to add a player at the level of Chandler or Smith? Would they add 8-10 million (and another 8-10 million in luxury tax) to add two of them?

My guess is maybe 1, if they find a really good fit. But after thinking they found two really good fits in Barnes and Blake last season, my guess is they might be a little gun shy in the free agent market. If they could get someone like Chandler or Smith for 2 million, they'd almost certainly sign them. But I'm not sure there's an unrestricted free agent that they'd be willing to pay MLE level money to.

@LTLF… I think the team will be willing to go up to $100M for three reasons: First, they know their window with Kobe may be closing sooner than expected and they don’t want to waste the opportunity. Second, they probably saved $10M with Mike Brown as coach versus Phil Jackson. And third, they know other teams have gotten better and need to improve. At least, that’s what I’m hoping. LOL.

Kevin Love would be a great addition if we were still playing the Triangle Offense.
Though he possesses high skills, he lacks speed and athleticism.


David Aldridge summarizes current impasse btw owners & players for [ ].

Laker context: "Capital deserves some kind of return," said [one] current team executive. "And the owners' position is, for that much money put at risk, I deserve to have some kind of return on that at some point. But the players' position is that talent deserves to be compensated. And they're right. Nobody comes to see Jimmy Buss. "

Okay. So it's hardly "context." And not particularly astute. (Gee. Wow. No one ever thought players were the product until current-team-exec deemed it so.) But why single out Buss? Unless you're the Warriors (Riley<--house bet), Clippers (Olshey), Kings (Petrie) or Suns (Blanks).

MM - "In some way, Chandler is a poor man's Odom."


I can see that. I also see a LOT of Tim Thomas, for better or worse. Particularly Thomas' aversion to contact and ability to disappear. Which isn't to say Chandler couldn't help. He could, at the right price (like everyone else).


Four. Their new TV deal will dump a bunch of extra revenue in their lap, so it's possible to stay profitable with higher salaries.

@LTLF… Great point and maybe the biggest. It’s what makes the Yankees such a juggernaut. They can spend whatever they want because their revenue stream is so great. This also suddenly means that the new CBA is going to be critical to whether the Lakers will be able to flex their financial muscle. Probably would have been better to wait until after the new CBA to announce the deal.

I don't know if this was already posted, but its an interesting look at the trade talks with the Wolves...

Lakers/Wolves Not Seeing Eye-to-Eye (Gasol-Love trade talks)...


I know you think of youself as some kind of icon here, but don't ever ever call me a stalker buddy. Homey don't play that game.

on the "Nobody comes to see Jimmy Buss" argument.

Fair enough. But without the owners, there wouldn't be the arenas, the TV deals, etc., etc.

Are the players themselves willing to pay to build a set of arenas to play in? Do they have enough?

Are any of the players themselves business savvy enough to negotiate a good deal with television networks?

If they are, then they should abandon the NBA and start the PBA (the Players Basketball Association). And then 20 years from now, if they succeed, they'll be the rich owners and the players of those days will be complaining about how they're underpaid at a 20 million minimum salary and a 100 million max player salary.

The truth of the matter is, the management has more sunk costs here. And I genuinely believe that several franchises are losing money.

Granted, it's partly their own damn fault for signing players for more than they're worth. The Clippers manage to stay profitable mostly because Donald Sterling is a cheap bastard who has lost several players because he refused to pay them huge piles of cash. For example, was he right about not paying Corey Maggette 10 million per? I'd say so.

So perhaps Donald Sterling has shown the restraint that some other teams haven't shown.

Problem is, a few teams like the Lakers and the Knicks can afford to spend away. So if small market teams try to just "pay players what they're worth", then the Lakers and Celtics and Knicks will always offer more.

There is no easy solution that's fair to everyone. But on the other hand, the players are VERY well compensated. Minimum salary is 400K? Sign me up. Guaranteed contracts for 10's or 100's of millions? I'm there.

A hard cap (or elimination of the MLE) wouldn't hurt the players THAT bad. Sure, it would hurt the players who are free agents THIS summer. And the next one or two. It would mean most of the free agents this summer would have to settle for a minimum contract for a year or two.

But the net effect would be that a few years from now, only the very elite players in the league would get 15million and up. Guys like Andrei Kirilenko, Gil Arenas, Yao Ming, Peja Stojakovic, Rashard Lewis, and Kenyon Martin that are earning that much and aren't worth it are what hurts the salary structure in the NBA. Kobe and Dirk deserve it, but not those guys.

If teams know they're going to be cut off at 55 million and only able to offer minimum contracts beyond that, then they wouldn't offer Rashard Lewis a max deal and they wouldn't offer Luke Walton 30 million over 6 years.

I got off track with my last post, but the point was...

Without Buss, and Cuban, and Sterling and the others, I doubt very seriously that the players themselves could actually afford the big arenas in which to perform, nor could they work out the big TV contracts themselves.

Someone has to manage the business.

So while people don't come to see Buss, they wouldn't have anything to see if it wasn't for Buss.


I think one of the reasons why the Lakers have been very good just having Gasol around, is because he has a little of Rick Fox, Derek Fisher, Tim Duncan. All of those guys have won multiple championships. Just like after the Lakers got run after reloading, and we were beaming with confidence in 04', after winning a lot of championships, we changed the direction of the team letting go of the same guys that were part of that success. The only difference between that time and today, Phil Jackson was still going to coach, and we can get solid contributors and it's not a rebuilding project like it was back then.
Posted by: PointFoward

Good valid points man ,but if your going to let Pau go they have to get a better core of players then maybe Darko, or Beasley, cause Beasley is only one Dimensional and thats on the offensive side. And as far Darko concern he is a limited player..We will have to wait and see if the front office feels the same way as you all do.

Go Lakers!

Furthermore LakerTom

What I did was research and documentation for supporting my point of view.

For you to twist it into some kind stalking scenario is SICK.

Okay, so lets assume what seems to be the consensus:

The Lakers won't trade Pau Gasol for just the #2 pick and parts.

The Timberwolves won't trade Kevin Love and the #2 pick for Pau Gasol.

So what about Pau Gasol for Kevin Love and a package of players not including the #2 pick (or Rubio). The point wouldn't be to keep all the players coming back, but to shop them around to the rest of the league to see what you could get for them.

So who needs a center? Milicic is a reasonably priced defensive center (remember - the Lakers paid TWICE as much for Kwame). How about Portland? Other than Camby, they've had trouble keeping a healthy C. Milicic on the floor for 4 million is better than Oden in a suit for 7 million. Who might that turn into? Rudy Fernandez? Andre Miller? Wesley Matthews?

Who needs a power forward and some scoring? How about New Jersey? Would Michael Beasley do? Want a return visit from Farmar (who would fit better in Brown's system than in the triangle)? Want a career 42% 3-point shooter in Morrow?

Who needs a shooting guard? How bout Chicago? Would Wes Johnson do? How bout if the Lakers get Brewer (a defensive stopper) or Taj Gibson instead?

And of course Cleveland is looking to dump their #4 pick for a player with some experience. Beasley? Webster?

So basically, if Minnesota wasn't willing to give up both the #2 pick and Kevin Love, but was willing to swing a Love + parts for Gasol deal, perhaps the Lakers could manage to turn it into Love + a couple of pieces they need (unless of course Webster/Beasley/Milicic/whoever actually appealed to them)

And one more piece to throw in play... the #20 pick. It probably would be high enough to draft Tyler Honeycutt. Or Nikola Vucevic or Norris Cole if you prefer. Not a star, but another potential trade asset.

Or of course in the ideal situation, New Jersey would be willing to trade Deron Williams for Kevin Love + a couple of pieces.

MM you said:
"In some way, Chandler is a poor man's Odom. If nothing else, Chandler, 24, could suit the Lakers for the long term, considering Matt Barnes has one year remaining on his contract, while Odom and Luke Walton each have two more years."

HUH? exsqueeze me? i must nitpick that statement cause i see no resemblance between the two... chandlers not a good dribbler is a poor passer and is an avg rebounder... are you sure you've seen him play?? the only way he resembles lamar is with his unreliable jumper and tendency to space out during games.... horrible pick up who wouldnt fit our needs considering we have a similar second year guy on the bench with higher upside by the name of ebanks... NEXT?!!

yellofever - A poor man's Odom doesn't mean he is similar to Odom. It means he has the potential to become him but has a ways to go

Troll Man - Drop the issue. I've warned you enough. He doesn't mean stalking in the sense of real life. But anytime certain members post, it's always met with a personal and negative attack. I'm going to be soon running out of warnings.

The only trade that will help the Lakers a lot championship wise are to trade injury prone Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest for DHoward and JJ Reddick the other trade that your discussing here is nonsense and wont help the lakers win championship.

Interesting comparison of Tiger Woods and Rory Mcllroy

In Tiger's first 100 tournaments worldwide he won 27 of them, that's just ridiculous.

Rory has won 3

If Rory had won the Masters, he'd be half way to the grand slam with the British Open coming up.

Oh to be able to average 300 yards a drive, funny he was born in Holywood, Northern Ireland

It looks like Tiger's next start will be the British Open.

Posted by: Mark Medina | June 21, 2011 at 12:02 AM

Troll Man - Drop the issue. I've warned you enough.....But anytime certain members post, it's always met with a personal and negative attack....


MM, earlier you said "everybody" now it's only "certain members". The truth is it was one person, who actually started the whole thing, then LT had to get involved so I responded. How ironic because when all this started quite a few bloggers chimed in and were told to mind their own business.

I wish you could be a little more factual and less biased when evaluating my position.

This will be my last comment on the subject unless you or someone else decides to distort the truth. Believe it or not I did not enjoy what transpired last week.


Still waiting for those LA Times "Laker Blog Awards"

I would suggest getting approval for the categories you might be thinking of using though. lol

I don’t like trading Pau for Love. It is a downgrade. I do think we should trade Pau however.

We have two centers on the floor at the same time and it makes us slow. This is what Jerry West said when the whole idea was first supposed and it is true. Our real success has been when Drew was hurt and Pau played center.

Pau is not a power forward. He doesn’t match up well with power forwards. He plays well against other centers. He is as tall as they are, but he has a lot more skills. He is a much better ball handler than Dwight Howard or Drew for that matter. He does fine against the big guys. He has trouble with skilled power forwards that are stronger than he is.

So what do you do? Do you have Drew or Pau come off the bench? That is stupid. You have to trade one of them. It has to be Pau. I have to go with youth. Pau looked terrible in the playoffs – when it counted. Lamar can play power forward.

So we have Drew, Lamar and Kobe. We are sorely lacking at the other two positions. We need an elite point guard. We need someone with stature so Kobe will be Ok with letting him shoot. We need someone who has played in an all star game. We need Paul or Williams.

Ron seemed to be losing it towards the end there. He is an offensive liability. I would like to see him come off the bench as a defensive stopper or get traded. I think we need a deadly three point shooter at small forward. He will spread the floor so the rest of the guys can do their thing and he will make a defense pay for doubling Kobe, Chris, Lamar or Drew.

We need at least one more three point shooter that comes off the bench - like Dallas has Jason and Peja. Our three point shooting last year got worse and worse and by the playoffs it was atrocious. I would also like to see youth and energy coming off the bench - good young players with big dreams who will kick the starter’s ass into gear in practice. I agree with Drew that the biggest reason for the early out last season was the practice. I am a musician and am humbly aware of how a performance can suffer without sufficient practice. Kobe didn’t practice with the team. All of the guys on the bench were too old or hurt to put up much of a fight. The team became lethargic. We need youth and speed coming off the bench in games to keep the opponent on its heels. We need youth and energy and passion in practice to keep the team at its best. When Kobe thanked the whole team after the big win the year before, it was for a reason. They all fought together. They were a team. That team got broken up. The youth and energy was replaced by age and injury.

I was so happy when we got Pau, but I think we need to trade him. He is a head case. Because of salary cap space, the only way to fix the problems we have at point guard and small forward is to trade a big piece. Pau played like a weenie in the playoffs. It was like he wanted to leave… Perhaps he can get his redemption in New Orleans? Mitch can get his right now.

I am a Lakerholic.

Yes, Jerry West is looking like a prophet these days, even though he took a lot of chiding on this blog for those comments.

Why does Pau think he can turn his passion to win on and off? He's tired but won't take the off-season to recover. He wants the ball, but won't fight for position. I love him as a player, but this "soft and emotional" stuff has got to go. He's a 7 footer who won't go for rebounds, and he pouts when his shot doesn't fall. Let's face it, you have to perform night in and night out.....other teams are coming, and if you want to be inconsistant, then maybe a trade is best for both parties. Gasol, Fisher, and Odom need to bring it every game. Just because Kobe wants the ball, it doesn't mean you can't be aggressive. Kobe isn't like lachoke and won't shy away from taking a shot. But that does not mean other "starting or core" players don't have a responsibility to put up the numbers they are paid to produce. I give Bynum credit for wanting to move up the pecking order if Gasol and Odom want a place to hide. As for you bro, but to start on a championship caliber squad, you have got to do more!!

Pincus/Hoopsworld - "To be fair, Beasley had a career-reviving season in Minnesota but historically he's struggled including a stretch in rehab back in 2009."


"To be fair?" To be accurate, Beasley actually REGRESSED this season in almost every critical metric, including PER & WS/48.

That's why trading Love makes no sense, because pairing Beasley with anyone will only "revive" Minnesota's recurring leadership among lottery losers.

>>>The only trade that will help the Lakers a lot championship wise are to trade
>>>injury prone Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest for DHoward and JJ Reddick
>>>the other trade that your discussing here is nonsense and wont help the
>>>lakers win championship.

Yes, because in addition to getting all the boards and defending Dirk, Dwight Howard will be stopping all penetration by Dallas' quick guards. he's Superman!


While Howard would be more reliable than Bynum, Bynum didn't lose the Dallas series. Pau's ineffectiveness and the guards' inability to slow down small quick guards got them swept out.


I agree that trading for Deron Williams or Chris Paul would be the trade that would help the Lakers the Most.

I also agree that Pau might be enough value to get one of those players.

But there are two problems:

1. Neither of their teams will likely trade them this summer. The Nets and the Hornets are hoping that they'll show enough improvement that they'll persuade their star PGs to extend their contracts. It's delusional of course, just like Cleveland, Denver, and Toronto were delusional thinking they were going to keep LeBron, Carmelo, and Bosh. But they won't recognize their delusion until at least the trade deadline. So the earliest you could likely obtain CP3 or DWill would be in February.

2. Pau might not be the right asset for a DIRECT trade with either team (depending on who they add this off-season).

New Orleans best talent other than Paul is in their front court (Okafor, West, and Landry). So adding one more big and having Jarrett Jack and Marco Belinelli as your starting guards is not a good rebuilding plan. They'd want SOME starting quality guard back in the trade. Who could the Lakers offer them? Blake? Fisher? They're worse than Jack

New Jersey is a different story. They have a good starting center and could use a good starting PF. And Prokhorov has said he wants to build a contending team in 5 years. So he may actually be willing to take on Pau's big contract (along with his big talent). But it still would leave them very weak at PG.

Basically, if the opportunity to trade for Paul or Williams comes around, the Lakers would be in best position to trade if they have an expendable guard (preferably young and with lots of upside) to send out in the deal. They have to be plausible at least as a future starter. Assume Fisher, Blake, and Brown aren't good enough. If they traded for Felton, that would be good enough. If they trade and get one of those lottery PGs from the draft, that would be good enough.

The other way to work it would be a 3-way trade at the trade deadline. Pau goes to team X, they send players to New Orleans, New Orleans sends Chris Paul to the Lakers.

It's tricky, but possible. Might not be possible under the new CBA. We won't know until the new CBA is around.



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