Tyson Chandler was seen by many observers as the key to the Dallas Mavericks' turnaround last season. While Dirk Nowitzki was the superstar, many felt Chandler changed the culture of the team defensively, much like Kevin Garnett did when acquired by the Boston Celtics in 2008. Now, he is a free agent and is expected to have several suitors for his services.
Most assumed the Mavericks would make a strong push to keep him after last season, but Chandler said earlier last week that he expects to be with another team when training camp begins. There are concerns about his durability, and the Mavericks also have a lot of committed payroll and several other free agents to address. With a more punitive luxury tax coming in the future, Dallas may be wary of committing too much payroll to someone with an injury history like Chandler's.
Here's more on the Mavericks' free agent:
Last season: Averaged 10.1 points and 9.4 rebounds per game as the Mavericks' starting center. Finished third in the Defensive Player of the Year voting.
Potential Suitors: Dallas, New Jersey, Denver, Houston, New York.
Expected price: Close to the maximum contract.
Prediction: Despite Chandler's words, I expect him to be back in Dallas. The punitive luxury tax doesn't kick in for a couple years, and the Mavericks need his defense on the back line to maintain their culture.