Tyson Chandler is 31 and has one more year remaining on his three-year contract with the New York Knicks, but the former NBA Defensive Player of the Year may be asking for his walking papers soon.
According to the New York Post, Chandler believes new Knicks president Phil Jackson is more concerned with 2015 free agency and doesn’t want to waste next year. After earning the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference in 2012-13, the Knicks failed to make the postseason this year, and Chandler doesn’t want to experience a similar fate again in 2014-15.
“I definitely don’t want to waste another season,’’ Chandler said before the Knicks faced the Nets Tuesday night. “I don’t want to waste this season. I’m not into wasting seasons. Your time is too short in this league and I want to win a championship, another one. I’m not into wasting seasons.’’
In terms of basketball fits, Jackson’s Los Angeles Lakers teams usually had more offensively inclined centers such as Shaquille O’Neal and Andrew Bynum, or at least moving power forwards like Pau Gasol into that spot to facilitate the triangle.
Chandler played in that system early in his career with the Chicago Bulls, to which Chandler said it didn’t work.
“I played it my first couple of years, but it was like a square because Phil wasn’t there,’’ Chandler told. “We ran it with Tim Floyd, then Bill Cartwright. It didn’t work out well, but we didn’t have the talent Phil had in Chicago.’’
Chandler is a superior defender and has been a critical component to the Knicks’ defense, but could also be Jackson’s top trading chip as he looks to rebuild the roster. And that works — for both sides — as Chandler does not want to be in New York if the team is in a rebuilder phase.
Chandler’s contract expires after the 2014-15 season, and expiring contracts before the big free agency period will be coveted throughout the league.
“The first year I got here, I understood it would be a building situation,’’ Chandler told the Post. “I felt we had core pieces, just a matter of getting pieces to go along with that. Second year I thought we made strides. This year was just unexpected. I didn’t expect it.’
“I never want to be in a situation like this. I pride myself on being a competitor and taking the team to another level.”