Basketball: Ex-Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler set to join Lakers after buyout from Suns

Tyson Chandler averaged 3.7 points and 5.6 rebounds in seven games for the Suns this season.
Tyson Chandler averaged 3.7 points and 5.6 rebounds in seven games for the Suns this season.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/TYSON CHANDLER

(REUTERS) - Los Angeles native Tyson Chandler is on the verge of signing a contract with the Lakers after being placed on waivers by the Phoenix Suns.

After a contract buyout freed Chandler from the final year of his contract with the Phoenix Suns, he targeted his hometown team.

"We love the fact that we're going to get another veteran," Lakers star LeBron James said on Saturday night (Nov 3). "A guy who plays hard, a guy who's very smart and another champion to add to the champions that we have in this system here today, and it adds depth in our frontcourt, which we have had trouble with at times."

The Suns officially announced the buyout on Sunday.

"We want to thank Tyson for his contributions to the Suns over the past three-plus seasons," vice president of basketball operations James Jones said in a statement. "With respect for Tyson's accomplished career, today's move gives him the chance to pursue a new opportunity while allowing our younger players to continue developing. Tyson is a consummate professional and we wish him all the best." Chandler's playing time was diminished this season due to the presence of standout rookie center Deandre Ayton, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft.

"I am grateful for my time in Phoenix and want to thank my teammates, my coaches, the front office and the fans for an amazing experience," Chandler said in a statement. "I wish them the best and I am excited for the next stage in my career."

Chandler, 36, is in his 18th season, and was slated to make US$13.6 million (S$18.7 million) this season in the final campaign of a four-year contract with Phoenix.

The 7-foot-1 Chandler averaged 3.7 points and 5.6 rebounds in seven games for the Suns this season.

Chandler has career averages of 8.6 points and 9.3 rebounds in 1,086 games with the Chicago Bulls (2001-06), New Orleans Hornets (2006-09), Charlotte Bobcats (2009-10), Dallas Mavericks (2010-11, 2014-15) New York Knicks (2011-14) and Suns (2015-18).

He was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the 2011-12 season and played in the All-Star Game the following season.