5:24pm: Chandler’s frustrations with the Suns have been growing over the years, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link). He was angry about losing and being shut down early, playing just 47 and 46 games the past two seasons. Before zeroing in on the Lakers, Chandler had also expressed interest in joining the Wizards, Warriors or Rockets.
4:52pm: The Suns are negotiating a buyout with 36-year-old center Tyson Chandler, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times, and the Lakers are his likely destination once he clears waivers (Twitter link).
After being used primarily as a starter since coming to Phoenix in 2015, Chandler has slipped into a reserve role this season behind No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton. He has averaged 12.7 minutes per night in seven games and doesn’t fit in with the Suns’ youth movement. Chandler is making $13.6MM in the final season of a four-year, $52MM contract.
He could become a defensive anchor for the Lakers, who don’t have much depth at center behind starter JaVale McGee. Chandler is a native of Los Angeles, Stein notes, and his salary will likely discourage any other team from making a waiver claim.
He and the Suns have had a standing buyout agreement in place for a while, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Chandler wanted to be sure another team would pick him up before finalizing the deal, and he found a taker in L.A. It explains why the Lakers didn’t make a stronger effort during the offseason to sign another center, adds ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Twitter link).