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Clippers Retrospective: Wilson Chandler Had a Short and Unmemorable Stint with the Clips

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Wilson Chandler was long coveted by Clippers’ fans, but arrived on the team a few years too late.

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Three

Key Stats

  • Came over from Philadelphia before the trade deadline as part of the Tobias HarrisLandry Shamet trade.
  • Played 15 regular season games for the Clippers (he missed the first 11 games due to injury) and started 1, averaging 4.3 points and 3.1 rebounds. Shot 34.8% from the field, 32.5% from three (2.7 attempts) and 71.4% from the free throw line (0.5 attempts)
  • Appeared in four playoff games against the Warriors, averaging 13 minutes per game with 3.8 points and 1.5 rebounds, shooting 31.3% from the field and 10% from three (2.5 attempts)
  • Signed with the Nets on July 8 as an unrestricted free agent

Expectations

In Philly, Wilson Chandler had shown severe signs of decline since his peak years in Denver, but he was still a reliable enough rotation player. However, he was dealing with a strained hamstring at the time of the trade, and hamstrings are notoriously tricky injuries to get back from. Therefore, while Clippers’ fans hoped that Chandler could become a solid piece of the rotation, expectations were fairly low. In fact, numerous fans thought that he shouldn’t even be part of the rotation, sitting behind Tyrone Wallace and Sindarius Thornwell. This group worried that Chandler would take minutes from those guys, upsetting the Clippers’ league-best bench. A final twist to Chandler’s arrival was that he was long desired as a “missing piece” to the Lob City teams as a starting small forward, so Clippers’ fans already had an attachment of sorts to him.

Reality

Wilson Chandler was bad for the Clippers. He didn’t look fully healthy, which effected him on both ends of the court. The biggest issue offensively was that Chandler couldn’t shoot at all, but a close second was his inability to do anything with the ball in his hands or attack big men when he was playing at power forward. Every once in a while he would flash a nice take to the hoop or a sweet dime, but for the most part, he was invisible offensively unless he was taking shots – and when he did take them, he mostly bricked them. Defensively, Chandler was a step (or two) slow, and never quite got in sync with his teammates. That makes sense, since he barely had any practice with them and didn’t start appearing in games until March. Nonetheless, his playing so poorly was disappointing, as he took minutes from better players, and threw off the rhythm of the bench a bit heading into the playoffs. It wasn’t really Chandler’s fault, but his stint with the Clippers just didn’t work out.

Legacy

Wilson Chandler’s brief tenure as a Clipper will probably soon be forgotten by all non-Clippers fans within a year or two. Even diehard Clippers fans will only remember him as the answer to trivia questions within a few years. Chandler appeared in only 19 games, didn’t play well when he did, and was generally not a presence on the court. It’s quite possible he was working his way back from his injury, and his play didn’t affect the season one way or another, so Clippers’ fans won’t view him negatively. They probably just won’t think of him at all.