Recap: Chandler joined the Rockets last offseason as a veteran looking to guide Clint Capela and make a spot start here or there. After missing the playoffs with the Suns and Lakers for the past four seasons, he was also looking for a little more playoff success than in his previous two stops.
Chandler played in just 26 games for the Rockets, averaging 1.3 points per game. He only stepped onto the court once during the bubble games as Oklahoma City’s “player of choice” to shoot two free throws following P.J. Tucker’s ejection from Game 5 of the first round of the playoffs. In one of the strangest box score lines in history, Chandler played 0:00 going 0-2 from the line. That might’ve been the highlight of Chandler’s season.
2021 Outlook: Based on his 2020 season, I’m expecting big things from Chandler in 2021. He’ll be 38 years old, just entering his prime and ready to contribute for a team that only plays guys 6’8” or shorter as a 7-footer. I’m expecting a 6-inch shrink from Chandler this offseason, and it will definitely change his game for the better.
The only problem? Chandler is a free agent and will have 29 other teams throwing him a supermax contract, which the Rockets can afford, but they must trade James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon and Clutch the Bear. Clutch is going to be tough to let go, but he’s a cap casualty when it comes to keeping a guy like Chandler on the roster.
It’s a small sacrifice for the greater good, but the Rockets have always been a team that does whatever it takes to widen the contender window as long as they can.
However, in the case that Daryl Morey throws us a curveball and opts to not sign this incredible man, and the other 29 teams do the same, expect him to hang it up after an amazing 19-year career.