Home > Commentary > Commentary: The Warriors And Tyson Chandler Are The Beginning Of Near Perfect Synergy

Commentary: The Warriors And Tyson Chandler Are The Beginning Of Near Perfect Synergy

Yesterday, it was reported that Tyson Chandler, the much desired free agent center who’s assumed a fair share of praise for helping Dallas defeat Miami in last year’s NBA Finals, will meet with Golden State team officials this week. The cement mix is far from dry—Houston, New Jersey, Dallas, and an always lingering team in the shadows all want him badly—but if the Warriors are able to use Chandler as an announcement to the league that they’re serious about trying to win big—and soon—then we might be witnessing the birth of a legitimate contender, sooner than anybody could’ve imagined.

Already armed with loyal, willful paycheck forking fans, Golden State would sport a starting five drastically improved in two way potency. After signing Chandler the next most logical way to make this possible would be their using of the Amnesty provision on center Andris Biedrins—he of non-existent elbows and a body consisting of damp tissue paper. This would wipe out $18 million in guaranteed money through the next two years (not including the $9 million player option in 2013-14), placing the Warriors salary at about $40 million for this season. They could then give Chandler a deal seen as favorable to what Dallas is reportedly willing to offer—somewhere in the four-year, $45-50 million range., When you combine the fact that someday soon Stephen Curry will be needing a raise with Chandler’s questionable injury history, the move would be both expensive and risky. But that’s what this is all about. The Western Conference’s immediate future is muddy. As Zach Lowe pointed out in a Los Angeles Clippers related piece on SI.com today, teams such as San Antonio, Los Angeles, and Dallas are facing uncertain futures without their longtime franchise stalwarts, and only Memphis and Oklahoma City seem certain to be threats for the long haul. If Golden State wants to strike, right now—with a new head coach, budding franchise player, and cutting-edge ownership group in place—is the time.

Instead of being a final step at the mountain’s summit, as he was in Dallas, with Golden State Chandler would be one of the first footfalls out of base camp. The Warriors are still a relatively weak team when it comes to perimeter defense, but they’re a trade away from changing that and making their roster one of the more complimentary in all of basketball. Placing Chandler alongside the already defensive-minded Ekpe Udoh creates a formidable big man tandem. Or, next to the not-going-anywhere David Lee; opening him up to rebound and score with a more focused, clearer mind. Signing Chandler would be the manifestation of a defensive upgrade on the team’s front line.

The next move would be executing something we’ve been waiting for, and expecting to see, for a few years now. The trade of Monta Ellis. There are two options here that would have Golden State fans believing in Santa Clause if either happened. Both are straight up deals that would create pros and cons for both teams (as with every trade), but both sides would see more reasons to go through with it than stand pat, at the end of the day.

The first has already been discussed in great length. It’s Andre Iguodala. This isn’t as good as the second option for a few reasons, but what it does is instantly improve Golden State’s ability to hinder penetration. The team would be able to throw out two layers of defense (Andre and then Chandler) that would create a greater headache on opposing offenses than most teams can offer. Of course, what you risk here is the loss of a capable crunch time scorer. Iguodala has worn this jacket his whole career in Philly, but the sleeves would never fit. Steph Curry could someday grow into the role, but as the team’s point guard of the future they’d be doing themselves a favor, as a championship contending organization, if they sought that part for someone else, which brings us to the second possibility.

Rudy Gay. A player who Steph Curry has gone on record as saying he REALLY wants to play with. Imagine this starting five for the next few years: Stephen Curry, Mr. Serviceable Shooting Guard, Rudy Gay, David Lee, and Tyson Chandler. If you’re a fan of Bay Area basketball that’s a nice future to contemplate. If the Warriors’ front office acts aggressively and has a few lucky things fall in their favor, the dream could be a realistic reality.

  1. Ethan Sherwood Strauss
    December 6, 2011 at 12:15 am | #1

    Enjoyed this, and it makes me want to also write about the particular place and time GSW finds itself in. A word of warning though: Warriors optimism can come back to haunt you (It’s certainly burned me in the past).

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