Storyline: Tyson Chandler Trade?

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Exactly what was discussed that day is not known, but it came down to this: McDonough and team owner Robert Sarver asked Chandler his preference: go to a postseason contender or stay with the rebuilding Suns in a limited on-court role. In his 16th season, Chandler chose to stay. “That’s true,” he said after Tuesday’s practice. “I feel like it’s a journey I started that I want to see through. If things change, I don’t know, but as long as I’m here, I’m going to try and do what’s right by these young fellas. I didn’t want to go nowhere. I wanted to be with these dudes and finish it out.”

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In the days leading to the trade deadline, Chandler appreciated management’s honestly. He said Sarver and McDonough were straightforward, telling him: Here’s our plan. Here’s our direction. Do you want to be a part of it? “For me, I sit down and evaluate where I’m at in my career, where I want to go, what I want to accomplish,” Chandler said. “At that time, in my heart I felt like I was needed for the young players. In life, it becomes about the bigger picture and not just you as the individual. That’s what I felt in my heart.”

Watson’s comments made it sound as if management solely made the post-All-Star break decision. Pressed on the issue, however, he said that wasn’t the case. “I didn’t say that,” he said. “I said if things change, it will be from management.” Watson continued: “You know what? It’s a great opportunity. Basketball is like life. Things can change at any moment. You have to be ready to adjust. The moment you do not adjust, you lose. We knew as a staff we had to build an immediate mindset in those younger players, preferably Tyler and Jones.”

Watson told azcentral sports that Chandler’s future isn’t up to him, but he made it clear he wants the big man to stay in Phoenix. The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 23. “I have very little input, but if it was up to me, I love Tyson Chandler,’’ Watson said. “I think our front office loves Tyson Chandler. Tyson wants to be a part of this process. He doesn’t mind the work and building. Where most veteran players want to win now, they don’t want to put in the work (with a young team). Tyson’s all about putting in the work every day. He practices every day. He’s vocal every day. He’s present every day. He’s positive or challenging. He has the same voice every day, and that is invaluable. That’s not analytical.”

The demand for Tyson Chandler is low. Even with a rising cap this summer, Chandler, who is still owed $39 million over the next three years, is not a desirable option for many teams. Factor in a strong free-agent center class, and Chandler’s poor play has many teams wary of acquiring that contract.

Tyson Chandler made it clear before Sunday’s game that, while this season has not gone like he envisioned in Phoenix, he is in it for the long haul with the Suns. “I’m not jumping ship,” Chandler said. “If the organization decides to move me or something like that, then clearly, that’s something that’s out of my control. But I came here for a reason. I thought it was a young, promising team and I wanted to be a part of helping turn this around and help go to the next level. And I feel like I’m capable of doing that and this organization is capable of doing it.
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