Tyson Chandler, pictured in 2017, is in his 18th NBA season
Los Angeles (AFP) - The Los Angeles Lakers made their acquisition of veteran center Tyson Chandler official Tuesday, signing him two days after he reached a buyout deal with the Phoenix Suns.
Chandler, the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2011-12 and winner of an NBA title with Dallas in 2011, is in his 18th NBA season.
He brings needed depth at center to a Lakers team that is still finding its feet after the addition of superstar LeBron James this season.
They have relied heavily on veteran JaVale McGee, who is averaging 26.2 minutes per game, the first time in seven years he has averaged 20 or more minutes.
General Manager Rob Pelinka said he had discussed the move with chief of basketball operations Earvin “Magic” Johnson as well as coach Luke Walton.
“Having observed our roster for the first 10 games of this young season, one of the areas that Earvin and I discussed with Luke that we desired to upgrade is interior defense and rebounding,” Pelinka said.
“In Tyson Chandler we addressed that need, and so much more. We are excited that Tyson will bring championship-level experience to our Lakers team that will solidify our veteran leadership and help positively shape our young core.”
Chandler, 36, owns career averages of 8.6 points (.596 FG%), 9.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in 1,086 career games for chicago, new Orleans, Charlotte, Dallas, New York and Phoenix.
The Los Angeles native sought a buyout from his Phoenix contract to become a free agent as the Suns put their focus on the development of their younger players this season.