AP Source: Suns buying out Tyson Chandler
Tyson Chandler is going home.
The Phoenix Suns are buying out Chandler’s contract, a move that will allow the 18-year veteran — once he clears waivers — to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. A person with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed the buyout plan to The Associated Press on Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Suns had not yet revealed it publicly.
The New York Times first reported that Chandler and the Suns were agreeing on a buyout. Chandler was in the final season of his four-year deal with the Suns, and was due to make about $13.5 million this season.
The 36-year-old Chandler played his high school basketball in Compton, California, just a few miles south of downtown Los Angeles. With the Lakers, he’ll likely be the backup to JaVale McGee.
Chandler was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft, but has never played for either the Clippers or the Lakers. Chandler wound up debuting with Chicago, and has also played with New Orleans, Dallas, New York and Charlotte before joining the Suns in 2015.
Chandler has seven appearances with the Suns this season, all backing up No. 1 overall draft pick Deandre Ayton. Chandler has averaged 3.7 points and 5.6 rebounds in about 13 minutes per game this season.
He helped Dallas win the 2011 NBA title, and was an All-Star in the 2012-13 season. He’s also been a teammate of new Lakers star LeBron James before — as part of USA Basketball’s team that won a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics. And he’s appeared in 1,086 games, which is 10th most among all active NBA players.
The Lakers were playing at Portland on Saturday night. Phoenix next plays Sunday, at home against Memphis.