After receiving a buyout in Phoenix last weekend, Tyson Chandler is officially headed home.
Chandler cleared waivers on Tuesday and officially signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, the team announced Tuesday afternoon.
“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,” Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said in a statement. “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.
“We are thrilled for Tyson to join us as we progress towards our ultimate goals as a team.”
Chandler, a Los Angeles native, was in the final year of his four-year deal with the Suns and was set to make nearly $13.6 million. The details of his new deal with the Lakers have not yet been made public.
Chandler put up 6.5 points and 9.1 rebounds last season in Phoenix, averaging 25 minutes of playing time in just 46 games. He averaged just 3.7 points in 12.7 minutes per game with the Suns this year, backing up rookie center Deandre Ayton.
The 36-year-old — who is in his 18th season in the NBA — will likely help LeBron James lead the way in the young Lakers locker room, and provide valuable minutes backing up starting center JaVale McGee. The Lakers had been using rookie Johnathan Williams as McGee’s backup, but Williams is on a two-way contract and can only spend 45 days in the NBA.
“I love the fact that we’re going to get another veteran,” James told SB Nation’s Harrison Faigen. “A guy who plays hard, and a guy who’s very smart, and another championship to add to the champions that we have … That adds depth in our frontcourt, which we’ve had trouble with at times.”
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