Tyson Chandler

Western Notes: Jones, Lakers, House, M. Brown, Mavs

The Lakers were interested earlier in the summer in big man Damian Jones before the Kings chose to guarantee his salary, according to Marc Stein of Substack. Jones had his $1.98MM salary guaranteed last month despite a glut of centers on Sacramento’s roster. Jones played eight games for the Lakers last season. Los Angeles is expected to sign DeAndre Jordan once he’s bought out by the Pistons and clears waivers.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Danuel House is likely to be dealt during the upcoming season, Rahat Huq of the Houston Chronicle opines. House has an expiring $3.98MM contract and doesn’t have a future on the rebuilding Rockets. He appeared in just 36 games last season but might bring back a late first-rounder from a contender seeking depth at the wing, Huq adds.
  • Moses Brown is working closely with longtime NBA center Tyson Chandler to improve his game, Dwain Price of Mavs.com writes. Brown was traded twice this offseason and was forwarded by Boston to the Mavericks in the Josh Richardson deal. “He’s been helping Moses a little bit in the gym just to kind of help him get a feel for things,” Al Whitley, GM of the G League Texas Legends, said of Chandler. “So to have a guy like Tyson Chandler as a mentor – someone who is a championship player, who brings what Tyson brought to the court, his intensity, toughness, all those types of things – that’s now being shared with Moses.”
  • Free agents Lance Stephenson and Isaiah Thomas left positive impressions during the workouts with the Mavericks, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweets. Dallas is seeking more backcourt depth and both veterans guards are looking to revive their NBA careers.

Mavs To Hire Jared Dudley As Assistant Coach

12:49pm: Dudley has agreed to join the Mavericks’ coaching staff, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.


8:30am: The Mavericks are in advanced discussions with veteran forward Jared Dudley about hiring him as an assistant coach on Jason Kidd‘s staff, according to NBA reporter Marc Stein (Twitter link).

Dudley, 36, has appeared in over 900 NBA regular season games since entering the league in 2007. He began his career in Charlotte, then spent time with the Suns, Clippers, Bucks, Wizards, Suns, Nets, and Lakers over the course of 14 seasons.

However, Dudley has seen his playing time decline significantly in recent years. In 2020/21, he logged just 81 total minutes in 12 games for the Lakers, and a report last week indicated that L.A. wasn’t expected to re-sign him. Now, it seems as if he’s prepared to move onto the next stage of his career.

While Kidd and Dudley never played together, they have plenty of history. Dudley played for Milwaukee in 2014/15 when Kidd was the head coach, and the Hall-of-Fame point guard was an assistant with the Lakers for the past two years.

Kidd’s coaching staff is still taking shape, but it appears he’s making it a priority to add at least a couple assistants with playing experience. J.J. Barea and Tyson Chandler are among the other NBA vets who have been mentioned as possible candidates.

Knicks, Others Keeping Eye On Taj Gibson

10:06am: Gibson has worked out for seven teams, including the Wizards, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post.

Berman adds that Tyson Chandler is among the free agent big men on the Knicks’ radar and that the team has had some internal discussions about bringing him back.


8:04am: The Knicks waived Taj Gibson back in November before his salary for the 2020/21 season could become fully guaranteed, but the two sides had mutual interest at that time in a possible reunion, writes Ian Begley of SNY.tv.

Although the Knicks didn’t re-sign Gibson during the offseason, they’ve continued to keep an eye on the veteran big man and have recently touched base with him, sources tell SNY. According to Begley, New York is one of a handful of clubs keeping Gibson on its radar, as he’s being monitored by “a few contenders.”

Gibson, 35, started 56 of the 62 games he played for the Knicks in 2019/20, averaging 6.1 PPG and 4.3 RPG in 16.5 minutes per contest.

According to Begley, some people within the organization like the idea of bringing Gibson back in part because he was viewed as a good mentor for young center Mitchell Robinson — if he returns this season, he could also be a positive influence on rookie Obi Toppin. Of course, Gibson also has a history with Tom Thibodeau, having played for the Knicks’ new head coach in Chicago and Minnesota.

Although the Knicks are off to a surprisingly strong start this season, their frontcourt depth chart is somewhat thin, particularly with Toppin, Nerlens Noel, and Omari Spellman all battling injuries. According to Jonathan Macri of Knicks Film School (Twitter link), the club is eyeing a few other big men in addition to Gibson and may meet with some.

New York currently has a full 15-man roster and would have to waive a player to make room for Gibson or another free agent. Spellman, whose rookie scale option for 2021/22 was turned down last month, would probably be the most obvious release candidate in that scenario.

Rockets Notes: Chandler, Green, Harden, Coach

Rockets center Tyson Chandler is undecided about whether he’ll continue his playing career or retire, according to Marc J. Spears of the Undefeated, who tweets that “opportunity and the state of the world” will be major factors in the 37-year-old’s decision.

Chandler originally thought he’d retire a year ago, but decided that he still had the desire to keep playing. He had an extremely limited role for the Rockets in 2019/20, appeared in just 26 contests and logging a career-low 8.4 minutes per game. His role became increasingly non-existent as the team pivoted to micro-ball — January 18 was the last time he logged more than one second of game action.

Here’s more from out of Houston:

  • Unlike Chandler, Jeff Green isn’t considering the possibility of retiring after this season. While the 34-year-old will be a free agent this offseason, he’s intent on continuing his career, tweets Spears.
  • Everything should be on the table for the Rockets and general manager Daryl Morey this offseason as they consider potential roster changes, according to Chris Herring of FiveThirtyEight. That includes considering the possibility of a James Harden trade, Herring notes.
  • Although the Rockets’ list of potential head coaching candidates starts with Tyronn Lue, there are plenty of candidates worth considering, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Feigen provides a long list of potential targets to replace Mike D’Antoni on Houston’s bench, including Jacque Vaughn, Jeff Van Gundy, David Fizdale, and many others.

Rockets Notes: House, Harden, Game 4 Loss, Chandler

Danuel House faces an uncertain future with the Rockets after leaving the Disney World complex following an alleged violation of campus rules, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. According to the NBA, House “had a guest in his hotel room over multiple hours on September 8 who was not authorized to be on campus.” His absence removes a productive player from Houston’s bench and raises questions about what the front office plans to do with him.

Feigen notes that House is one of the few Rockets who is both relatively young, at age 27, and has a team-friendly contract. House still has two seasons left on the three-year, $11.15MM deal he signed last summer. He shot 38.1% from 3-point range on a team that emphasizes long-distance shooting more than anyone else in the league, and he provides athleticism in the front court along with another ball-handler.

The Rockets have the option of trading House, but Feigen states it’s likely to be at a significant discount given his current situation. Coach Mike D’Antoni refused to comment on House’s status before tonight’s Game 5, telling reporters, “The team can address that later. Right now, just thinking about playing and winning tonight.” (Twitter link from Feigen)

There’s more on the Rockets:

  • With the season hanging in the balance, John Hollinger of The Athletic wonders if the organization will eventually consider trading James Harden. The Rockets have repeatedly gambled to try to build a championship team around Harden, but they are now in a position with no cap room, no draft picks this year, no commitment to pay the luxury tax and no young players they can trade for veterans. Harden can opt out of his current deal after the 2021/22 season, and he may be tempted to leave while he still has a shot at winning a ring.
  • There was “audible shouting” coming from Houston’s locker room following the Game 4 loss to the Lakers, Shams Charania of The Athletic says on Stadium (video link). He adds that players are “really holding each other accountable” to bring better effort and better body language for the rest of the series.
  • Veteran center Tyson Chandler has been added to the injury list for Game 5, Feigen tweets. Chandler has been declared out of tonight’s game due to neck spasms, but he hasn’t played at all in the postseason except for shooting two free throws after another player was injured.

Latest On NBA’s Investigation Into House, Rockets

4:19pm: Asked prior to Thursday night’s game about House’s status, Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni confirmed that he expects to be without the forward (Twitter link via Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle). D’Antoni is unsure whether House will be available later in the series.

The investigation is ongoing,” he said. “They’ll come out with their ruling and we’ll go from there.”


12:46pm: After word broke on Wednesday night that the NBA is investigating a potential violation of campus protocols by Rockets forward Danuel House, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported on Thursday morning that the probe is related to House allegedly allowing a female COVID-19 testing official into his hotel room. Now, Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic have provided more details on the investigation.

According to Charania and Amick, a female staffer – who is not believed to be a league employee – entered the Rockets’ team hotel on Monday night and left in the early hours of Tuesday morning. When the woman was questioned by league security, she claimed to have contact with Tyson Chandler and another player (not House), sources tell The Athletic.

The entire Rockets’ team entered a quarantine period on Tuesday due to possible coronavirus exposure, but the league’s investigation soon focused on Chandler and House, according to Charania and Amick. Those two players weren’t permitted to play in Game 3 vs. the Lakers on Tuesday night.

Although the woman didn’t implicate House and he has “vehemently denied” engaging in any improper conduct, the NBA says it has circumstantial evidence implicating House, per The Athletic’s report. The league’s investigation cleared Chandler on Wednesday and shifted its focus toward House, who has been in quarantine while the probe continues.

The Rockets and the NBPA have been supporting House, but Charania and Amick suggest that the team and the union are “virtually powerless” in the process, since the NBA is running the show on medical and protocol issues. Sources tell The Athletic that there has been some frustration about the lack of communication between the league’s investigative team and the Rockets.

Today’s latest injury report from the NBA continued to list House as out for Game 4 on Thursday night, so unless the league’s investigation clears him within the next few hours, it sounds as if he’ll likely miss a second consecutive game.

Pacific Notes: Clippers Arena, Randle, McGee, Kawhi

The Clippers‘ forthcoming Inglewood arena has received the final approval necessary from the Inglewood City Council, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN (Twitter link). The team, which announced a joint deal to buy the publicly-owned property on the arena site, now has the go-ahead to begin building its new arena in 2021.

In a press release on the club’s official site, the team notes that construction is scheduled to commence next summer. The Clippers are expected to move from the Staples Center, an arena they share with the Lakers, to their new home ahead of the 2024/25 season.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Suns coach Monty Williams has added Brian Randle to his staff as an assistant coach, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link). Randle is a former player development coach for the Timberwolves.
  • Lakers starting center JaVale McGee has been cleared to play in tonight’s pivotal Game 3 against the Rockets, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). McGee turned his left ankle in Game 2 of the Lakers’ series with the Rockets and was limited to just eight minutes of action. An MRI on the ankle came back negative. Mark Medina of USA Today tweets McGee will not have a minutes restriction tonight. Medina adds that bench guard Dion Waiters will not be available for Game 3.
  • Meanwhile, Rockets forward Danuel House Jr. will be unavailable tonight for personal reasons, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Feigen adds (Twitter link) that Houston center Tyson Chandler will also miss tonight’s game for personal reasons, but that both players remain on the NBA’s Orlando campus.
  • Clippers All-Star Kawhi Leonard‘s stellar Game 3 performance showcased just how valuable he is as a two-way player, and why he was the top priority for Los Angeles in free agency ahead of the season, notes Brian Windhorst of ESPN. Leonard was named to the 2020 All-Defensive Second Team earlier this afternoon.

Rockets Notes: Game 7, Harden, Westbrook, Chandler

More than the fate of this season will be on the line for the Rockets tonight as they face the Thunder in Game 7 of their first-round series, writes Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Houston is in danger of wasting another year of James Harden‘s prime, and both he and Russell Westbrook will have the chance to opt out of their current contracts and become free agents in the summer of 2022.

Although the Rockets have gone through two recent shakeups by trading for Westbrook last July and fully embracing small-ball by dealing starting center Clint Capela in February, O’Connor believes more changes could be on the way, especially if the team gets bounced in the first round. Mike D’Antoni seems unlikely to return as head coach, and general manager Daryl Morey might have to consider changes to his philosophy of surrounding Harden and Westbrook with standstill shooters.

There are also concerns that Westbrook, an inconsistent 3-point shooter, doesn’t fit as well with Harden as Chris Paul once did. Playing just his second game since returning from a quad injury, Westbrook was particularly bad in the Game 6 loss, turning the ball over seven times.

“We’ve gotta take care of it. Starting with myself,” said Westbrook, who is expected to remain on a minutes limit tonight. “I’m just trying to figure out rhythm and timing, but I’ll figure it out next game.”

There’s more Rockets news to pass along:

  • The team will make a greater effort to get the ball to Harden in the closing minutes if tonight’s game is close, D’Antoni tells Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Although stats show Harden’s usage hasn’t changed much in the final minutes of the three close games in the series, he didn’t touch the ball in the final seconds Monday with the Rockets trailing by two points. “Obviously, we’re trying to get him involved,” D’Antoni said. “We just kept turning it over before he had a chance to get involved. There was a number of turnovers that probably shouldn’t happen. We’ll talk about it. He knows. He’ll be ready to go.”
  • While Westbrook was disappointing in Game 6, the Rockets made the right move by acquiring him in exchange for Paul and a parcel of draft picks, argues Mark Medina of USA Today. Medina points out that Paul’s injury history made him risky for Houston, even though he has stayed healthy this season. There was also noticeable tension between Paul and Harden that built up over two seasons, while Westbrook and Harden are long-time friends.
  • Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press talks to several little-used players, including Rockets veteran center Tyson Chandler, about the experience of being stuck in a closed environment without seeing much playing time.

Tyson Chandler Not Sure Whether He’ll Retire After Season

Rockets center Tyson Chandler is on an expiring contract and will turn 38 years old this fall, but he’s not sure whether he’ll call it a career after this season, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

As MacMahon notes, Chandler originally thought he would retire last summer, but decided he still had the desire to continue playing and signed with Houston after the club recruited him for weeks. After another year in the NBA, he hasn’t yet made a decision on what his future holds.

I’ll do myself some justice, not get ahead of myself and wait for that moment to come,” Chandler said.

The second overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft, Chandler has appeared in a total of 1,160 career regular season games, including 26 for Houston this season. The veteran big man has also played in 75 postseason contests, winning a championship with the Mavericks in 2011 and earning an All-Star nod with the Knicks in 2013.

While Chandler doesn’t play a major role on the small-ball Rockets, he’s essentially the only option the team can turn to if it wants to match up with an opponent by using a traditional center, especially with Isaiah Hartenstein no longer on the roster. Forwards like P.J. Tucker, Jeff Green, and DeMarre Carroll typically serve as Houston’s de facto centers.

Rockets Not Motivated By Luxury Tax Concerns?

FEBRUARY 4: Contradicting his original report, Young tweets that he’s been told that Fertitta has given Morey the go-ahead to make deadline deals without financial restrictions. The Rockets’ owner isn’t satisfied with the team’s place in the standings so far and wants to upgrade the roster, Young adds.

While that may be true, Houston is close enough to the tax line that it still wouldn’t be a surprise if the club ducks below it in the coming days.

FEBRUARY 3: The Rockets are looking to shave enough salary off their payroll to avoid the luxury tax, Jabari Young of CNBC.com reports.

The Rockets have been actively engaged in trade talks, most notably dangling center Clint Capela, who is in the early stages of a five-year, $90MM contract. Moving Nene, who has a non-guaranteed $10MM salary for next season, would also contribute greatly toward that goal. The Rockets have approximately $139.9MM in contractual obligations and owner Tilman Fertitta wants to get below the $132MM tax line.

Some league executives believes Rockets GM Daryl Morey is being pressured by Fertitta to decrease salary while simultaneously trying to keep the franchise in championship contention, according to Young.

Fertitta has denied in the past that he’s motivated by luxury tax concerns but the team’s moves the past two years have the look of a franchise trying to dodge the tax, Dan Feldman of NBC Sports notes. The way Houston’s 2018 offseason played out, and the curious moves it make prior to last year’s trade deadline, had the appearance of a team with tax concerns, Feldman continues.

Players like Gerald GreenThabo Sefolosha and Tyson Chandler making the veteran’s minimum could be traded and replaced by players making partial-season minimums, Feldman notes. By tossing in assets to move contracts, the Rockets will hinder their chances of upgrading the team, Feldman adds.