Wilson Chandler was traded to the Philadelphia 76’ers on Wednesday. Chandler was the remaining piece of the Carmelo Anthony trade.
Chandler’s statistics have been analyzed repeatedly since the middle of last season, when he was rumored to be on the trade blocks. We talk about him here. For a year-and-a-half, those rumors dogged Chandler. Once he cleared the deadline in February, Chandler made a vast improvement in his production as the Nuggets starting small forward.
In the end, the key to Chandler’s declining performance may have been related to the team’s desire to move him. Some players are not fazed by trade rumors, some are.
Ill Will’s eventual trade to the Sixers seemed like an inevitability.
Packaged with Timofey Mozgov, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari in the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Anthony Randolph, Corey Brewer, Shelden Williams and Anthony Carter out of Denver, Chandler was the most established of the Nuggets haul.
Felton flirted with a starting role in the NBA pre-trade and while his output faded, he’s still kicking, having just signed with OKC.
Timo was a fan favorite, he had a monster series against the Lakers in 2013 for Denver. He may still be in Denver had Nurkic and then Jokic not come along. Mozzy was a gamble and while he was productive in Denver, circumstances led the Nuggets to trade him to Cleveland for a pair of first round picks.
Gallinari split his time in Denver between being an electric offensive player and being injured. Gallo is one of those guys that you’ll always wonder what could have been. He signed as a Free Agent with the Clippers where he only played 21 games before again succumbing to injury.
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That leaves Chandler. Already an elite perimeter defender, Wilson showed a nice shooting touch and surprising speed on the wing. Unfortunately, he didn’t play his 82nd game with the Nuggets until the middle of his 4th season.
Wilson has always been that tantalizing player, he’s shown amazing perseverance. He’s been consistent, when healthy. He’s a reliable scorer that can flare into a force from time-to-time, still. He isn’t a premier 3-point shooter but he can get hot and score in bunches. He defends all three frontcourt positions.
More than all of that, Wilson Chandler has been a steady presence for Denver. He is kind, he is a conscientious, he has been a good neighbor.
I can count on one hand the number of words I can remember Chandler saying in his seven seasons with the Nuggets. What he brought didn’t require a lot of words. It seems like that’s just the way he wants it. Let’s hope the attention on Philadelphia’s young stars let Wilson play his game without much fanfare.
We’ll miss him here.