The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off an impressive 114-110 win at home over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
It had featured recently acquired big man Tyson Chandler playing a big factor on the floor in his first game with the team, which included some pivotal tapout rebounds in the final minute of the fourth quarter. According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, it was a move that the Lakers were able to do as there is a theory that James former teammate and current Phoenix Suns general manager James Jones parted ways with center Tyson Chandler as a favor to help the four-time league MVP out.
There’s one working theory of why the Suns granted Chandler the buyout now instead of in February or March when the traditional wave of buyouts occur: Phoenix interim GM James Jones was a longtime teammate of LeBron’s in Miami and Cleveland.
“James did LeBron a solid,” a league source told ESPN.
When presented with the claim, LeBron said it was really Chandler who benefited the most.
“He deserves all the credit,” he told ESPN of Jones. “He was very instrumental. He did right by Tyson as a veteran.”
This is an intriguing theory as James and Jones both have developed a close relationship over the years after spending much time together as players with the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers. This is quite reasonable to believe given that it is a move that helps out both parties.
Chandler had been phased out to a limited bench role with rookie Deandre Ayton as the focal point in the frontcourt as the starter. Meanwhile, it provides the Lakers with a bonafide big man that can impact the game with his defense and rebounding.
If his performance in Wednesday’s game was any indication, Chandler could serve to be an impactful asset off the bench that could help the Lakers turn it around from their early-season struggles.