8. Tyson Chandler, Phoenix Suns
When the Phoenix Suns signed Tyson Chandler to a four-year, $52 million contract in July 2015, they did so in a last-gasp effort to lure LaMarcus Aldridge to the desert. Although that gambit failed, Chandler has been a consummate professional during his three years in Phoenix, starting 152 games while providing the rugged, physical post play he’s known for.
But with No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton now on the roster, Chandler’s time with the Suns is likely drawing to a close.
Phoenix figures to keep Chandler around as a veteran mentor for Ayton, perhaps for the entire 2018-19 season. In July, Scott Bordow of AZCentral.com refuted reports that the Suns were trying to buy out Chandler, even though they had added Ayton and traded for Philadelphia 76ers big man Richaun Holmes in recent weeks.
During media day, Chandler told reporters that he’s helping Ayton “find his voice” on defense. The 2011-12 Defensive Player of the Year and three-time All-Defensive selection assuredly has wisdom to impart upon his young protege, who entered the NBA with concerns about his aptitude on that end of the floor.
However, the 36-year-old Chandler is also entering the final year of his contract. With Ayton set to take over Phoenix’s franchise center, the Suns don’t have much need for Chandler outside of having him play spot minutes off the bench and serve as a veteran voice in the locker room.
If a contender finds itself short on big-man depth heading into the trade deadline—here’s looking at you, Los Angeles Lakers—Phoenix should shop Chandler around. Getting even a second-round pick in return would be a coup.