Wilson Chandler was one of the four players sent to the Denver Nuggets in Monday's Carmelo Anthony blockbuster trade. Without question, he is the player of least renown, and was the only trade chip no one has ever shrieked about. If the Knicks were to acquire anyone of value, it was has long been accepted that Chandler would go, for he didn't really fit the Knicks' plan.
On the court, he was a great fit for Mike D'Antoni's offense, though perhaps the fact that he carried the team through the lean pre-Amar'e Stoudemire years is more an indictment of the Knicks' bad roster than Chandler's specific talents. Chandler was able to play power forward through shooting guard, owing to solid size and a decent ability to rebound as well as a complete lack of conscience from behind the arc. Chandler took five three-pointers per 36 minutes this season, often from the power forward spot. That's D'Antoni to a tee, but Chandler and cohort Danilo Gallinari just weren't deadly enough to make the Knicks great.
Of course, the lack of a center -- or Stoudemire's inability to defend big men, depending on how you look at it -- and poor backcourt shooting helped determine the Knicks' quality as much as Chandler's sub-star production did. But that's the classification that's sussed out when you consider Chandler from 10,000 feet: he's the perfect D'Antoni player, but not quite good enough to be a key cog in a great team.
The Nuggets will hope to reverse that. It would appear Chandler is destined to come off the bench, unless Denver moves Gallinari in the days to come. In Denver, assuming J.R. Smith sticks around (which is a wild assumption to make), Chandler won't be the designated gunner off the bench. George Karl will expect more, and it's not clear Chandler is capable of much more.
He'll be a restricted free agent this summer, one who doesn't figure to break the bank for any team. As such, time is of the essence and Chandler has to make quick repairs to his reputation. In all this trade hubbub, the values of Raymond Felton, Gallinari and Timofey Mozgov never fell; their inclusion in the 'Melo deal was whinged at (to varying levels). That's an amazing thing for a player's reputation, and Chandler may very well learn that this summer ... if he can't reverse the dip in Denver.