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LeBron called Suns GM to get Chandler released

by Josiah Williams
by Josiah Williams

The Los Angeles Lakers finally fixed their depth at the center position by signing Tyson Chandler. He gave the Lakers better defense and more rebounding on both ends of the floor. More people would give credit to Magic Johnson for singing Chandler. However, LeBron James had something to do with it as well.

Recently, the Phoenix Suns buyout Chandler’s contract last weekend. The buyout made him a free agent and then quickly signed with the Lakers. How could a quality center like that become available? LeBron may have pushed for the transaction.

LeBron having influence over management decisions is no secret. He has done this on every team he has played for. However, this time LeBron took his liberty a step further. He called James Jones, the Suns’ GM and asked for a favor. According to Ken Berger of the Bleacher Report (BR), the initial plan was for Chandler to be bought out after the trade deadline.

A rival executive told BR “Not buying out Chandler until after the trade deadline] was the plan…until LeBron called in a favor. It’s no coincidence that the facilitator was Suns vice president of basketball operations James Jones, a close friend and longtime teammate of James.

The rival executive had more to say. “They could have bought him out at the trade deadline and gotten great leadership and mentoring for two-thirds of the season.” ESPN’S Dave McMenamin also brought up the rumors of LeBron’s connections. “James did LeBron a solid.”

The Suns are garbage anyway so letting go of a veteran is not a big deal. Also, people should think about how it benefits Chandler as well. Sources told ESPN, Chander is benefiting the most in this situation. He left a terrible team to one that is more likely to make the playoffs. Not to mention playing with LeBron.

LeBron’s influence can be powerful at times and in this case, it worked wonders for the Lakers. They have been dying for depth at the center position. In almost every game they are getting out rebounding with little to no defense in the paint.

Currently, the Lakers are dead last in allowing points in the paint. Once JaVale McGee leaves the game, the rim is open season for anyone to attack. Now that Chandler is on the team, the defense should pick up a little bit. Thanks to LeBron’s connections in the league, the Lakers were able to improve right away.

This article was originally published on @uwj014