While most of the focus this offseason has been on LeBron James and his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for a second time, the Philadelphia 76ers made a very important move of their own.
A couple weeks ago, the Sixers sent cash considerations to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Wilson Chandler, a 2021 second-round draft pick and the right to swap 2022 second-round picks.
The 31-year-old forward averaged 10.0 points and 5.4 rebounds in 31.6 minutes per game for the Nuggets last season.
He had spent six-and-a-half years in Denver after spending his first three-and-a-half years with the New York Knicks. He’s averaged 13.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for his career.
While he might not be the same type of explosive player he was at the beginning of his career, Chandler is very serviceable defensively and can post 20-plus points on any given night if he gets hot. Therefore, while he’s inconsistent at times, he could play an important role in Philadelphia.
But, how will he fit into Brett Brown’s rotation?
How he fits in
Not only will Chandler have to compete with incumbent starters Robert Covington and Dario Saric, but also the newly-signed Nemanja Bjelica, Justin Anderson and Summer League sensation Furkan Korkmaz.
It’s important to note that Chandler is versatile due to his length and athleticism and can play shooting guard, small forward and power forward. That’s one of the reasons why Brown believes he will play a huge role for the Sixers in 2018-2019.
“When you look at the DNA of the modern-day player, he is that,” Sixers coach and interim general manger Brett Brown said, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “You can guard multiple positions. You can make a three-point shot and has the versatility in his game that is incredibly impressive. … I think anytime you can get people in a contract year, you put them in positions where they can do well.”
Since Chandler is in the final year of his current contract, Brown and the 76ers are expecting him to play with a sense of urgency.
The forward revealed that he doesn’t know whether or not he will start, but he knows he’ll be on the court.
“He just told me don’t worry about playing time, and that I’ll play,” Chandler said regarding his conversation with Brown. “Me personally, I’m not worried about coming off the bench or starting. I’ve done both in my career.”
He’s looking forward to playing any role on the playoff-caliber squad.
“I’m glad to be back on a playoff team,” he said. “I’m looking forward to pushing it as far as we can.”
“Whatever they need, I’m out there,” Chandler added. “I’m going to play hard. I’m going to defend hard as I can whatever the team needs, whatever the coach needs. I’m not opposed to defense. I love to play both ends of the court.”
The Sixers have a ton of versatility and depth on their bench especially now with Chandler in town. His exact role remains to be seen, but it’s relatively certain that he will be given an opportunity to prove himself.