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Chandler healthy, ready to help Mavericks

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DALLAS (AP)

Center Tyson Chandler says he's healthy and ready to help the Dallas Mavericks maintain their status as a Western Conference power.

In a news conference Thursday, Chandler said the foot and ankle injuries that kept him out of 29 games for the Charlotte Bobcats last season are no longer an issue.

''This is the first summer in a while that I've been healthy,'' Chandler said. ''I've been training since two weeks after the season. I'm feeling good.''

Chandler was dealt to the Mavericks on Tuesday along with center Alexis Ajinca for the contracts of center Erick Dampier, forward Eduardo Najera and guard Matt Carroll, and cash considerations.

''I'm very excited about (the trade),'' the 7-foot-1 California native said. ''When I heard about it I was working out and (started) jumping around.''

The Mavericks have Chandler slotted as their backup center behind Brendan Haywood, who signed a six-year, $55 million contract last week to remain in Dallas.

Chandler said he has no problems coming off the bench. The Mavericks are hoping Chandler is motivated as he enters the final year of a contract worth $12.7 million.

''I'm definitely fine with that,'' Chandler said of his backup role. ''We all have the same goal in mind. We all want to win a championship here. We've got to work together and whatever my role is, it'll be good.''

Chandler said he brings to the Mavericks, ''athleticism...running the floor, can definitely speed the pace up for us as well as be active defensively.''

Last season the Mavericks fell far short of their goal of challenging for their first NBA championship, getting bounced from the playoffs in the first round by the San Antonio Spurs.

Chandler entered the NBA out of high school and was the No. 2 overall pick of the 2001 draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, who traded his rights to the Chicago Bulls. He played five seasons in Chicago, three for the New Orleans Hornets, and averaged 6.5 points and 6.3 rebounds for Charlotte last season.

Chandler has been added to the list of players who'll try out for the U.S. national team at its training camp next week in Las Vegas. The team will compete in the world championships in Turkey Aug. 28-Sept. 12.

Chandler said he's anxious to show U.S. team officials, as well as the Mavericks, that his foot and ankle are healed.

While Chandler should have no trouble earning a place in the Mavericks rotation, Ajinca will have to fight for a spot on the 15-man roster.

The 7-foot native of Saint Etienne joins French national team members Roddy Beaubois and Ian Mahinmi on the Mavericks.

Ajinca, the 20th overall pick in the 2008 draft, played only 37 games for Charlotte over the previous two seasons and averaged 2.2 points.

Tagged: Alexis Ajinca, Mavericks, Hornets, Tyson Chandler, Erick Dampier

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