Can Tyson Chandler Save the Lakers?

Tyson Chandler

Getty Tyson Chandler

The Los Angeles Lakers have officially added Tyson Chandler to the squad, and he will likely back up JaVale McGee at the center position.

Chandler is an 18-year veteran who for the current season is only averaging 3.7 points per game and 5.6 rebounds, but the Lakers may be hoping that he can bring some much-needed leadership and defense to the young team.

Chandler Will Bring Veteran Maturity

Kevin McHale on NBATV commented on the pressure the young Lakers are experiencing playing alongside LeBron for the first time, saying that Chandler may be able to bring the same veteran maturity but alleviate some of the pressure of playing on the same team as LeBron James.

“There’s so much pressure when you play with LeBron. Everybody’s looking at them saying, ‘Hey, you’ve gotta win over 50 games this year,’ all this pressure from LeBron–just from playing with him. I think he’ll be a nice kind of velvety touch for that team.”

Maybe that’ll make the difference. It seems lately that the young team is combusting under the pressure associated with playing alongside the greatest player in the world–a player who expects success just as much as others expect it of him.

With Chandler’s calm maturity and stalwart presence on defense off the bench–not to mention the fact that he’ll likely back up James and change the dynamic at practice as a fellow veteran–his addition to the team certainly won’t hurt in terms of veteran-rookie (or close to it) relations.

Tyson Chandler

GettyTyson Chandler goes up for a dunk during his time with the Phoenix Suns.

Can Tyson Chandler Save Luke Walton?

Hopefully the addition helps get Luke Walton off the hot seat, too. The coach has been in trouble with Magic Johnson lately, according to multiple sources, one of the major problems being the defense–or lack thereof.

Luke Walton

GettyLakers Head Coach Luke Walton is reportedly in hot water over the Lakers’ slow start.

Part of the problem has been the lack of options. The Lakers haven’t had many resources to back up JaVale McGee at center, and Chandler will provide just that piece. He’ll be an important role player for the team and a much more imposing presence around the rim than the other guys playing behind McGee–the Lakers at one point turned to 6′ 9″ rookie Johnathan Williams to fill in the gap, and he was just okay.

Magic Johnson has said that Walton’s job is safe for now and that he’ll finish out the year as head coach (granted nothing “drastic” happens, whatever that may mean), but the addition of Chandler certainly helps his chances of having more than just this year to work for the organization.

No Risk, Potential Reward

Tyson Chandler

GettyTyson Chandler

Ultimately, the Chandler move is nothing but a benefit to the Lakers. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain by adding an experienced, smart, and composed veteran to their lineup–especially at the center position. At worst, they’ll keep losing, and no doubt more changes will have to be made (remember last season when LeBron all but traded out an entire team?).

At best, they’ll finally start winning, and everyone can relax.

READ NEXT: Kawhi Leonard Injury Update: Will Leonard Play Against the Kings?

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