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Instant Analysis
Express-News NBA writer Mike Monroe takes a look at Tuesday's trade that sent Tyson Chandler from the Hornets to the Thunder:

The Hornets took the Spurs to a seventh game in their Western Conference playoff series last spring behind Chris Paul and David West, but Tyson Chandler's ability to keep Tim Duncan from dominating in the low post was no small factor in a series Gregg Popovich admitted he was shocked the Spurs won.

At 7-foot-1, Chandler is the fastest, most athletic big man in the NBA since David Robinson. He's no future Hall of Famer, as Robinson is, but he is a gifted interior defender and a tireless rebounder.

Now, Chandler is headed to Oklahoma City, and in return the Hornets got an aging Joe Smith - whose lasting legacy will be the illegal contract he negotiated with the Timberwolves - and Chris Wilcox, career underachiever.

New Orleans also will get DeVon Hardin, a second-round pick out of California in last year's draft who never signed with Oklahoma City. But that will be small consolation for Hornets players and fans who will rightly conclude that their 2009 NBA Finals dream just ended.

This was a deal rooted firmly in the recession, and it is not unfair to ask if the Hornets' future in New Orleans must once again be questioned. Chandler has not had as good a season as the Hornets had hoped, but his $12.3 million contract, not disappointing play, drove this trade.

Thunder general manager Sam Presti continues to show why Gregg Popovich once called him the Spurs' resident genius. If the season began tomorrow, the Thunder would be a Western Conference playoff contender, and Presti still has a bunch of first-round draft picks stockpiled.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 19, 2009

 

 
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