Did ex-teammate do LeBron a favor by waiving Tyson Chandler?
The Los Angeles Lakers got an immediate boost from their newest addition in their win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night, and many people believe LeBron James should be thanking one of his former teammates for that.
Tyson Chandler cleared waivers this week after being granted a buyout from the Phoenix Suns, and he immediately signed a veteran minimum contract with the Lakers. Since it’s fairly unusual for a team to grant a player a buyout so early in the season, there’s a belief that Suns interim general manager James Jones was doing LeBron a favor.
As one league source phrased it to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, “James did LeBron a solid.”
When asked about the idea that Jones may have helped his friend out, LeBron did not exactly dispel the notion. Rather, he praised Jones for doing right by a veteran player and told ESPN he will have a spot in his front office for Jones if he ever owns an NBA franchise down the line.
“He deserves all the credit,” LeBron said. “He was very instrumental. He did right by Tyson as a veteran.”
James also joked that Jones “needs an opt-out clause” in his contract so he can come work for LeBron’s team if LeBron ever decides to go that route.
LeBron and Jones played together with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat, and LeBron once referred to the former swingman as his “favorite player of all time.” Jones was a member of all three teams that LeBron won championships with.
One thing that isn’t open for debate — the Lakers needed Chandler on Wednesday night. The veteran big man grabbed nine rebounds in 23 minutes and helped LA retain possession and hold a one-point lead when he tipped the ball out to his teammates after a missed shot with seconds remaining.
While it may seem like Magic Johnson’s heated meeting with Luke Walton has sparked the Lakers, the addition of Chandler has the potential to be huge.