“Wilson’s a restricted free agent and I’m going to sign him,” Walsh said yesterday. “He’s a helluva player.” ———————————————————————————————————–
According to a league source, Chandler might seek a five-year deal worth $60 million.
Chandler is averaging 17.9 points and 6.5 rebounds — similar numbers posted by Joe Johnson before he signed a five-year, $65M deal with Atlanta in 2006.
If the restricted-free agency rule is not altered in the new agreement, Walsh can match any offer and keep Chandler a Knick.
“I’m confident even if it’s not there [ability to match], we’re going to sign him,” Walsh said. “That’s our intention when the time comes.”
Before the season began, there were doubts that both Chandler and Danilo Gallinari would coexist in an offense that was highlighted by Amar’e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton.
Chandler has since proven to be a more versatile scorer than Gallo (although both have had positive seasons), and has seemingly become numero tres in the Knicks’ own “Big Three” (take that, Miami).
Keeping Chandler, at such a rate, would force the Knicks to make key roster decisions come next summer. Re-signing him, as well as (potentially) signing Carmelo Anthony as the Knicks will likely look to do this summer, would mean that someone else important (Gallinari, perhaps), may soon be leaving town after that due to the salary cap.
All that needs to be recognized right now, however, is that Chandler is having a career year and the Knicks’ success thus far is partially due his emergence.
Check back for more on his continued success and the above comparison (of Chandler to Joe Johnson), tomorrow.