Colleague Chris Palmer ranked Chandler as the top free-agent target this offseason, and with good reason: He was even more important than Barea to Dallas' playoff run. He was arguably the second-best player on the NBA champion team. But there are reasons for potential buyers to be wary, most notably the fact that Chandler's performance has been so inconsistent from year to year. The previous two seasons, Chandler was a below-average player, which led the New Orleans Hornets and Charlotte Bobcats to trade him away in consecutive summers.
It's not necessarily that Chandler focused in a contract year so much as his performance tends to be unpredictable. He was terrific his first two years with the Hornets before slipping badly in 2008-09. Injuries that cost Chandler more than 30 games both seasons were surely a factor, as his rebounding declined before bouncing back with the Mavericks. When Chandler is right, he is one of the league's better centers. However, whoever signs Chandler cannot count on his being healthy throughout the lifetime of his next contract.