Is Wilson the One?

It has recently been reported Wilson Chandler has added Toronto as a possible destination as a restricted free agent. He visited with the Raptors yesterday.

The question becomes obvious: how good is Wilson Chandler and is he a material upgrade from our current wings?


Source: basketball-reference.com (data for Raptors’ players are for this year only)

Chandler is a more effective scorer than the most of the Raptors’ current wings, a little worse rebounder and a bit more of a “black hole” (doesn’t pass as often).


Source: basketball-reference.com (data for Raptors’ players are for this year only)

The other metrics tell a similar story: he generally has posted a PER below 15 (the average NBA player) and has similar scores to both James Johnson and Linas Kleiza. His 2 year adjusted +/- suggests a positive contribution (2.01) as does his Regularized Adjusted +/- (1.5) while his WP48 of 0.801 suggests he’s a slightly below average player.

He would certainly be an upgrade over Rasual Bulter and Gary Forbes (the latter being much more of a “2” and perhaps less comparable), but – as it always does – comes down to a matter of salary and contract length. The challenge is he is a restricted free agent for Denver, which means they can match any offer. Thus, the Raptors will have to be careful not to “reach to high” to prevent this.

Questions? Arsenalist introduced a forum thread dedicated to “Statophile Q&A”. If you prefer to send questions privately, you’re welcome to email me at tomliston [at] gmail [dot] com or find me on Twitter (@Liston).

  • Theswirsky

    Looking at those numbers, if Chandler is signed he makes the most sense as the teams starting SG….. which unfortunately says something

  • Brian B

    just what the Raps need – another below average SF with a limited skill set. seems to me that there are several much better bets available in the draft.

  • c_bcm

    This was surprising to see given all the hype surrounding him. Given how much JJ has played in his career compared to LK and WC, I say nay nay. Thanks but no thanks.

  • Alb perjet

    I never understood why people believed he was so great…. Great article, for a future bench player

  • Jim

    Colangelo should stick to a healthy Kleiza and Johnson for now. Chandler isn’t much better than either of them, and will certainly command a much greater salary. Who knows who we land in the draft. Barnes or MKG could project to be better than all of them. 

    Nice job.

  • Vino

    Agree with Jim and the general consensus here on the board. Just to add – we have not seen a healthy Kleiza yet and JJ has not developed his full potential yet. I’d not sign Chandler to $7-$8 mil at this point.

  • Tim

    People here who compare JJ with Wilson Chandler need to take a step back, take their fanatic glasses off and watch some of Chandler’s game.

    Chandler is a legitimate starter and a great defender in both SG and SF in this league. JJ is a legitimate Reserve !! You can have them both on your team. 

    That being said, I can not see BC making any move this trade deadline. He is comfortable sitting aside and let the rebuild through the draft continue and collect his money. 

    He has one more year left and I think has the confidence that he will be extended. Why should he risk making a move now if it turns bad and come back and bite him ??

    • guestX

      I agree with you Tim. Chandler is a significant upgrade over both kleiza and JJ. These advanced metrics only paint part of the story since a player is one piece to a whole system. Whenever you add a player you hope that the team creates synergy. Adding chandler in my opinion would be like combining kleizas scoring punch and part of JJ’s defensive touch. Isn’t this the type of consistency we need in the form of 1 player rather than 2?

      Not to mention Chandlers turning 25 this year and has improved every year when he was with NYK. His trade to DEN shouldn’t be included in his evaluation because he only played 21 games with them and entered into the fold in the middle of a season. As for being a “black hole”, he played for the knicks where he was probably told to take as many shots as he could and not to be a distributor.

      • CJT

        How can you even guess as to what he was told to do in New York?  No facts at all.  He is below average and is not starting in the NBA.  Maybe Bayless has been told not to pass as well. 

        • guestX

          Its an educated guess. Afterall it was D’antoni coaching right? You don’t get a 7 seconds or less offence without having players given authority to shoot and/or attack.

    • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

      Shouldn’t a “legitimate starter” be an above average player?  (Ranked 143rd in PER).  Is passing important? (251st in assist ratio, bottom quintile
      tile for SF – Corey Maggette territory).  Is rebounding important? (155th). 
      His TS% is okay, but still only good for 31st out of qualified SF last year.

      How is he better defensively than James Johnson? (Current top SF shot blocker, although is also solid.)

      The players certainly have different skill sets.  If you have JJ as your backup, what do you do with Klieza?  This is my point – and you didn’t address it.

      • Tim

        You are the same guy who was using his “stats” to bash AB in every single article he wrote for this site and was asking for his head , while saying Amir Johnson is the most efficient offensive player in Raptor team and needs to get more shots on the offensive end and ….

        Give it a rest pal. JJ a starter in this league ?? Are you for real ??

        • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

          “Never let facts get in the way of a good argument”.

          A. I did not endorse JJ as a starter.  I asked you if he was better defensively.  Please do not twist my words.

          B. Is this a good example of me “bashing” Bargnani in “every single article”:http://raptorsrepublic.com/2012/01/12/statophile-22-weak-wings-andrea-the-all-star-and-punishment-in-the-paint/ or is this one:http://raptorsrepublic.com/2012/01/19/statophile-volume-23-bad-without-bargnani-find-minutes-for-forbes-derozans-not-driving/ 

          C. You didn’t answer a single question I purposed.  Instead, you deflect.

          Differences in opinion are cool. Completely making stuff up to serve an argument isn’t.

          • Tim

            The problem with you is that you simply lack the basic understanding about what facts means. 
            The numbers you are using are very subjective because Basketball is a Team sport and where you are playing, who you are playing with matters a lot.Numbers just say a small part of the story and this is why you so blindly  were bashing AB every chance you got and were promoting Amir Johnson as a leader of this team, Most efficient offensive player, asking for more touches for him on the offensive end and …See my friend, you were WRONG because you failed to understand the basic elements when it comes to these stats and how they should be looked at.Hence, I find you posts a waste of time and space and bandwidth for a great site like RR. Instead of your amature statistical work, which any kid with 2 years college degree can do, I wish we had more articles from guys like PHD Steve and … who actually understand the game.

            • CJT

              Or that BCgotstogo guy who understands………
              Nevermind.

            • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

              Once again, you’re putting words in my mouth and making things up.  I’m happy to hear criticism, but please read the articles first and do not claim I said things I did not.  “Facts” refer to wait I’ve said previously.

              One day, I’ll actually watch a single basketball game and work towards living up to your standards.

  • Draftstar

    WE NEED STARS – A BIG THREE. Where is our big three???? I could be wrong (Lin), but my feeling is NY would not have included him in a trade to get a star if he was one! I suspect he would play behind JJ & the one-legged Kleiza. Barganani  is a sixth man volume scorer until he develops into a crunch time scorer like Dirk! The supporting cast is probably in place right now!!! Our best hope is JV, Draft, FA star!!! We don’t want to be wandering in the desert for 40 years-leafs. 

    • guestX

      Lol NYK let chandler & gallo go to get a SUPERstar in melo. Its not that Chandler isn’t good or isn’t going to be a star but theres not that many players who are AS GOOD AS melo. In that case, you have to give up several good pieces to get one superstar. 

      You’re crazy to think chandler is going to play behind JJ & kleiza. Why the hell would BC bring in Chandler to talk to him about signing with the raptors if his selling point is he’s going to be a third string SF here. Obviously his sales pitch was that the SF position is up for grabs and he could most certainly take it from  the likes of JJ and Kleiza. 
      And Bargs a sixth man volume shooter? He’s been lights out this season and showed great improvement before getting injured. He’d be a starter on almost every other team in the league, just probably not the primary option.

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    Chandler >> JJ or Kleiza

    That being said Chandler isn’t coming to the TDot he’s just using the Raptors and 5 other teams as leverage in his barganing position with Denver.

    If Chandler ultimately leaves Denver it will most likely be in a sign & trade deal with the Nuggets for said team.

    • guestX

      Ya S&T seems likely if the raps were serious contenders for his services. Masai and Colangelo have a good working relationship. In that case he can take back his prized possession in Alabi lol

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Alabi is a waste of a perfectly good roster spot- send him to Urijia in Denver.lol

        • Mantcore13

          What if he’s the second J. Lin? 😀

  • Draftstar

    Not saying where WC will play but where I think he should play purely based on talent. This is not the point though. My main point is that as fans we have to start demanding more of our management than scraps at the dinner table. Do you think this would fly in New York – they demand stars and settle for nothing less. The base is O.K. – if we keep Barbosa at a good price. We need three stars for next season and to develop the players we have this season. Thought JJ was a horrible signing at the time and I was wrong – Could WC be a budding superstar? I say no – would rather have Kleiza hobble around with one leg that WC with two!!!

    • CJT

      Have you been watching the Knicks?  They have been a terrible team for a decade and cannot compete against good teams even with their big three.

      • Draftstar

        Still think the big three method is the way to go even if NY is unsuccessful using it. Still like how NY fans holds management accountable and is demanding of them. Still believe good management gets you championships – the players just get all the glory!

  • http://twitter.com/Liston Tom Liston

    https://twitter.com/#!/ESPNSteinLine/status/172611872556711936
    Marc Stein‏ @ESPNSteinLine
    So word is Raps resigned to fact they can’t give “realistic” offer sheet to RFA Chandler unless they first make separate deal to shed salary

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      Another most likely we almost signed/traded for him scenario that BC is becoming infamous for pr spinning to the fan base ie Lin……………

      • CJT

        Did you watch your precious Lin tonight?  He had 3 times more turnovers than assists and was like 2 for 13 or something.  He is beginning to show why he was cut by two teams and was an average D-leaguer.

        • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

          Wow.

          The Knicks are 8-3 with him as a starter and most likely a playoff team this season- Chandler, Amare, Melo, Fields, Lin with JRSmith, Novak, BDavis, Jefferies off the bench.

          Every NBA player has a bad game especially when going up against Wade, LBJ & company- the best defensive team for my money in the NBA.

          Lin beat the Raptors and is a legit NBA player as he’ll only get better with time.

          • guestX

            I’ve got to agree with you here. The teams records speaks for himself. Even with all those turnovers his team generally wins because he brings far more to the table. Playing against Mia was his greatest test thus far with very athletic and quick defenders in wade, lbj, and even chalmers. I recall an article being posted where LBJ had took note that he would at some point be covering lin. Didn’t watch the game if this panned out, but LBJ is huge and explosive SF guarding a 6-3 rookie PG. LBJ just stating he’s going to have to guard Lin is a testament to his skill level. Cut the rookie some slack CJT.

            • CJT

              Chalmers covered him and made him his bitch.  I don’t dislike Lin at all, I am just saying that for the past two weeks every clown on RR that has been calling for Jose to get traded and has used Lin as another example of bad management is getting a bit tedious.  30 GM’s passed on him for a reason not just BC.  10 turnovers to 2 assists and 1 for 11 shooting is more of what he has shown as an NBA player than the last two weeks.  I hope the kid is great and has a great career, but it is not accurate or fair to suggest that Lin was a lock to become a star in the league based on his previous play.

  • Cantdl

    numbers aside. kleizas not a starter, just a good scoring option off the bench. james johnson has a lot of potential and can play efficiently within his means. I think from what ive seen from chandler is that he is a proven starter who can help this team with scoring and be efficient logging lots of minutes. i don’t care what the statistics say, im way more impressed when i watch chandler play than i am with kleiza or even JJ

    • CJT

      The grass is always greener.  Raptors fans have a strange way of underappreciating what they have.  Kleiza has been very good since his return.  Consistent and dependable.  Stats are stats and Chandler is going to expect a big payday for a below average performer. 

  • FAQ

    Only desperate Toronto tribal honking fans would bother fantacizing over Chandler.  Coming to TO just for the money is like going to Hell for the women.

    The Ratpors will be blown up again and again and again… until they have a team that will take them to 8th place  in the Eastern Conference… and no further because good US college drafts and FAs consider Toronto like Siberia… too cold, too foreign and too unAmerican.

  • speedbag

    Klieza can dominate when healthy and will school Chandler, not to mention his fellow countrymen Jonas is coming to the team. Klieza is a god in Lithuania and will be good for his development. You have to look outside of the straight up comparisons. And have you seen a better defender then JJ in a raptors uniform? Not to mention his offensive game has just started to take off. It really reminds me of Paul Pierce, the way he glides in for layups. He needs time on the court… I’d leave this position as is and wait another year. 

  • Harry S. Truman

    If Wilson Chandler is the “One”, then let’s just pack this franchise up right now and move it to San Diego.