Not as big as the trade that brought them, Russell Westbrook, the Houston Rockets made another offseason splash Friday afternoon. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Rockets acquired free-agent center Tyson Chandler on a one-year deal. With the move, the Rockets are hoping that Chandler would add some much-needed depth to their lineup, but most noticeably at the center position.
After Nene declined his player option to test free agency, the Rockets were in need of a backup center with Clint Capela listed as their only big within their rotation. And with no more than the mid-level exception available to spend, the chances of the Rockets signing a reliable big seemed slim to none.
Free agent center Tyson Chandler has agreed to a one-year deal with Rockets, agent Jeff Schwartz of @excelsm tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 12, 2019
Houston came up short in their pursuit of Kevon Looney and JaVale McGee, but both players spurned the Rockets in their decision to return to their respective teams. However, with Chandler, the Rockets now have a player who can give them the best of both worlds.
Last season as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, Chandler proven he can still be a productive and valuable player in this league. Offensively, he is a suitable pick-and-roll player who can finish at the rim with ease. His ability to roll to the basket makes Chandler a relevant fit within the Rockets’ system, as it gives Houston an additional big whose offensive skill set is the perfect fit playing alongside James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
However, the most influential aspect Chandler brings to the Rockets is his presence on the defensive end.
Since entering the league in 2001, Chandler has always been one of the best defensive players in the league. He is a two-time member of the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team and was awarded Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 with the New York Knicks. While playing for the Lakers, Chandler was still an effective defender and rebounder, as he averaged 5.6 rebounds in 55 games.
Heading into the start of the 2019-2020 season, it is unsure whether or not Tyson Chandler would be a full-time rotational player at 36-years old. Yet, do to the signing of Chandler, Houston has two realistic options to choose from with the rise of Isaiah Hartenstein making a strong case as the Rockets’ primary backup to Capela.