There is one trade the Rockets nearly pulled off this past summer that might have drastically changed their fortunes this season.
On July 8th, word broke out that the Rockets were involved in talks of a four-team trade that would have sent Tyson Chandler to Houston and Michael Beasley to Charlotte, enabling the Heat and Raptors to get what they needed out of the aftermath of “The Decision.” (See: fan discussion at that time). The deal fell apart, Miami found another way to move Beasley and the Dallas Mavericks swooped in to land Chandler. The Rockets would later sign Brad Miller to fill the backup center hole.
The move has paid off handsomely for Mark Cuban. Chandler has started 50 games for the Mavericks, currently the third best team in the West, and had been getting play to be named an All-Star reserve. He is averaging 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in just 28.5 minutes, but is putting up career highs from the field (65.9 percent) and from the free throw line (77.6 percent).
Chandler credits his improvement to finally being healthy enough to put in a strong offseason, but he could have been doing his thing in Clutch City.
“I was thinking about it in the summertime, the possibility of it,” said Chandler of playing for the Rockets. “But once it didn’t happen, it was what it was.”
Chandler was more focused on facing the Rockets, saying their biggest concern going into tonight’s game is the Rockets speed in transition.
“They get up and down the floor [and] get great guard play. Scola is doing an excellent job in the paint and even Chuck is scoring some baskets,” said Chandler. “We have to make sure we get back and build a wall with these guys.”
A defensive wall is what the Rockets have been unable to build this season. At 7-foot-1 and an age (28 years old) perfectly compatible with the Rockets core, Tyson Chandler is definitely the one that got away from Houston.