Wilson Chandler didn't play in last night's Nuggets loss to the Toronto Raptors due to injury -- a sore groin, reportedly. But plenty of Denver fans would like to kick him in that very spot due to what appear to be signs he wants a trade less than a year after inking a $31 million contract -- proving again that while he's a pretty good player, he's an absolutely tremendous pain in the ass.
As you'll recall, Chandler came to Denver from the New York Knicks in the 2011 Carmelo Anthony trade -- not that Colorado appeared to be his dreamed-of destination. As we posted in January of that year, before the deal went down, WC was reportedly leaning toward hiring a new agent in part because, a source told the New York Post, "He's really worried that he's going to get traded. He doesn't want to leave New York. And he doesn't want to be in Denver."
He wound up here anyhow, and he hardly seemed happy about it. When labor troubles struck the NBA, Chandler first made noise about playing in China -- and then, even after the Nuggets submitted an offer sheet, he was said to have been negotiating with a team in Italy.
Clearly, Chandler was hoping NBA teams other than the Nuggets would throw a bank vault his direction, but none did. As a result, as we wrote in March 2012, his options were "to sign an offer sheet with the Nuggets and play at altitude for the rest of this season and all of the next before becoming an unrestricted free agent in July 2013, sign with an overseas team, or opt to sit out."
A couple of weeks after that, Chandler gave in and signed a five-year contract worth almost $31 million -- but if he came to peace with his decision, it sure as hell didn't seem like it.
Cut to this season, during which Chandler has been hurt -- a lot. Then, after returning to the lineup and providing some supplementary spark through the Nugs' recent winning streak, a number of disgruntled-sounding tweets began emanating from his Twitter account. One featuring the phrase "11 days" -- at that point the time until the NBA trade deadline -- vanished before anyone could grab it. But here's an exchange that survived thanks to a quick-fingered fan.
The implication: Chandler wants to be traded, even though the Nuggets, despite two recent losses, remain one of the hottest squads in the NBA, because he's not getting starter minutes.
Trouble is, Chandler seems to believe he's a huge star in the making rather than what he appears to be -- a talented swingman who's best when he comes off the bench. As such, he no doubt despises Coach George Karl's team-before-egomania system, which treats him like a complimentary cog in the machine as opposed to an athletic genius deserving of his very own pedestal.
Given that, should the Nuggets grant his wish and deal him? Depending on what's offered, hell yes. If Chandler stays, his skills on the court will eventually be overwhelmed by his displeasure, not to mention the poison his grumpiness is apt to spread. But since no other squad jumped to sign him last year, when he was actively shopping his services, he may find a similar amount of disinterest now. And if so, we've got this to say: "Tough shit, whiner."
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Note: The original version of this post put Chandler's Nuggets contract at $37 million -- the amount originally reported. Thanks to a commenter, we've since learned the actual total is just over $31 million. We regret the error.
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