Something has been bugging me since the disappointing playoff series with The Thunder. As I watched Chandler play in the playoffs something just seemed off about him mentally and physically. The guy just was not there, and I don't think we can blame his off-performance against OKC purely on first-time playoff jitters. 27% Field Goal shooting?? 14% shooting from 3-point range? .4 Assists per game? Durant had huge games so I don't think you can say he made a big difference on defense either. Plus, Chandler seemed .. how should I put this...somewhere else through most of the series?? I don't know how else to put it. He just was not into the first play-off series of his career. I decided to keep an eye Il Will before and during several of the the games I attended in person, and he spent a lot of time before games and during timeouts joking with his old buddy Nate Robinson. During games, he sat with a blank stare on his face. Rather than pass, move, and take the ball to the rim, Chandler spent most of the series hoisting ill-advised shots. And he seemed disenchanted when taken out of games To support my suspicions even further, after a lousy performance against OKC, stories IMMEDIATELY start appearing the NY media that Chandler would welcome a return to the Knicks. That he was never entirely comfortable in Denver.
If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would say all of this was a ploy by Chandler and his team to convince the Denver FO that matching a decent contract offer from another team, particularly if that team is the Knicks, would be a mistake. I like Chandler's physical tools, and he could be a Scottie Pippen like force on defense if he asserted himself, but there are clues that all is not well in Chandler-ville.
All of this said, I think the Nuggs have to match any reasonable offer to Chandler, to either make him a key piece in Denver's rotation for years to come, or use him as an asset to trade later. He is young and has talent. But, I have to admit to being worried about his head.