The Knicks are 15-26 this season and a large reason why is the lack of Tyson Chandler. Lauded as the most valuable Knick by some fans since he signed with the team, Tyson Chandler has been an offensive linchpin and one of the only reasons the Knicks defense isn’t ranked thirtieth for most of his time here.
While Chandler hasn’t been quite himself this year, in part because of his fractured leg and then upper repertory infection, his history as an elite defender and as the leader in offensive rating the last three years in the NBA are enough of a reason to still place a lot of value on him.
Chandler probably has the most trade value of any Knick at this point. Anthony has very little without a guarantee to resign with the team trading for him and the other choices, Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. wouldn’t bring back the potential young players and/or high draft picks Tyson Chandler could.
Considering offers for Tyson can’t be a lone move though. If Chandler is moved for youth or picks, the Knicks have essentially forfeited all title aspirations they may have had in the near future. This team can not reasonably compete on even a playoff level with Andrea Bargnani, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Kenyon Martin holding down the fort at the center position.
So when pondering whether the Knicks should trade Chandler the bigger question is, should the Knicks rebuild? Is this 41 game sample size indicative of the roster’s current state or can this team bounce back and be a title contender with a few tweaks?
Based on the Knicks having everything go their way last season from above average shooting to injury luck both on their team and others and the team still failed to get out of the second round, the answer is likely that this roster has already maximized its potential.
If that is the case then the Knicks should look to deal Tyson if they also entertain deals on Carmelo Anthony. Bringing him back on a 5 year $129 million contract when the team is looking to rebuild in some form would just be silly and quite honestly make rebuilding nearly impossible.
I’ve already detailed a number of trades the Knicks can make for Anthony that could get them either young talent or draft picks back and coupling that with a Tyson Chandler trade for one solid young player and maybe a future pick could really make the future seem a lot brighter.
Teams such as the Thunder (who agreed to a deal to acquire Chandler but he then failed his physical), Clippers, and Hawks among others could be possible trade partners if Chandler is made available. While getting Reggie Jackson is unlikely, players like Jeremy Lamb on OKC, Lou Williams from Atlanta, and Darren Collison from the Clippers could all be key parts of a deal that hopefully for the Knicks, included at least a future first rounder too.
The Thunder especially could use Chandler as their offense clearly isn’t the same with Kendrick Perkins on the floor. Having a far superior offensive center in Chandler who can still provide great rim protection, especially next to Serge Ibaka, would make them even scarier to the rest of the Western Conference. Even if the Knicks took Perkins back, he would come off the books after next year and if the Knicks decide to rebuild having him around to try and get as high a pick as possible may not be a bad idea.
The Knicks are approaching a fork in the road and they just can’t take it. They have to decide and commit to either blowing this thing up or hoping that this is a salvageable roster. If they go the prior than yes, they should absolutely see what is out there in terms of a Tyson Chandler trade.