For us regular folk, in economic times like these, we know that when you’re supposed to hold onto a secure job when you have it. This isn’t the time to make radical career changes, take long-term leave to go backpacking across Europe, or throw all your savings into that idea to invent a new form of grilling bacon.
NBA players don’t have those problems. So reading the ESPN reports that a “source close to the situation” says Tyson Chandler is thinking about opting out of his $12.6 million contract to test the free-agent market, it’s actually believable.
Just two seasons removed from what would be considered a career year, when he put up 11 points and 11 rebounds a night, was one of the League’s top rebounders, and a highlight-reel regular while catching lobs from Chris Paul in New Orleans, Chandler had another injury-plagued campaign this year. He played in just 51 games with the Bobcats and averaging 6.5 points and 6.3 rebounds. In the second half of the season, Charlotte coach Larry Brown seemed to have more trust in 59-year-old Theo Ratliff than he did in Chandler, a 27-year-old, nine-year vet.
It had been assumed a no-brainer that Chandler would take the $12.6 million and stay in Charlotte, seeing as his recent injury history alone would keep him from making that much again. But quite a few franchises have a lot of money to spend this summer. And NBA teams always need 7-footers who can run the floor, rebound, and play defense. Factor in that Chandler is under 30, and if he simply doesn’t like playing for the Bobcats and can make decent money — $6-7 million a year still pays the bills last I checked — Chandler might just be making the right move for himself.
Would you want Tyson Chandler on your team? How much do you think he’s worth?