Tyson Chandler is on the verge of heading home. The veteran center has been a member of the Phoenix Suns since the 2015 campaign, but with the emergence of rookie star Deandre Ayton, Phoenix has reportedly decided to part ways with the former Defensive Player of the Year via a buyout.
The news of Phoenix and Chandler agreeing to go in separate directions came via Marc Stein of the New York Times, who added that the Los Angeles Lakers were going to be atop the list of teams that wanted to acquire his services.
Soon after, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN confirmed the report and brought word that Chandler will, indeed, head to his hometown squad.
Wojnarowski went onto report that this has been on the table for some time, as Chandler — who did not play in the Suns’ 107-98 loss to Toronto on Friday night — has just needed somewhere to go.
Chandler ending up on the Lakers makes all the sense in the world. The draw of playing for his hometown team certainly exists to some extent, but Los Angeles desperately needs someone in the center of their defense, as JaVale McGee and Kyle Kuzma have struggled to give the Lakers much at the five this year. With Chandler in tow, Los Angeles now has a steady hand down low, someone who can bring some much-needed physicality and veteran leadership on both ends of the floor.
Acquiring Chandler comes at a good time for Los Angeles, as it comes one day after word broke that Magic Johnson laid into Luke Walton for his job coaching the team so far this year. It also frees up even more playing time for Ayton, making this a move that benefits both teams.