Lakers coach Walton discusses addition of Chandler

Former Sun Tyson Chandler officially signs with Lakers

Lakers make signing of veteran center Chandler official

Chandler became a free agent after receiving a buyout from the Phoenix Suns and was free to sign with any team after clearing waivers.

Tyson Chandler made his Lakers debut Wednesday night, and some in the National Basketball Association reportedly believe that Phoenix Suns interim general manager James Jones allowed the veteran center to head to Los Angeles (via buyout) early in the season as something of a favor to longtime former teammate LeBron James.

Chandler, 36, will be a backup to starting center JaVale McGee for the Lakers, who are desperate for an infusion of size and defensive rebounding.

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Chandler, who is in his 18th National Basketball Association season, is averaging 3.7 points and 5.6 rebounds this season. Rookie center Moe Wagner still hasn't made his debut while returning slowly from a knee injury, and Lakers basketball boss Magic Johnson didn't want to wait any longer to bolster his team's areas of need.

A native of Los Angeles, Chandler is considered one of the strong, veteran leaders in the league - a welcome addition to a largely youthful Lakers locker room. The Lakers were expected to sign Chandler, who will add some much-needed depth to the team's group of centers.

"I told him he needs an opt-out clause wherever he's at", James said with a smile.

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Chandler has been a standout National Basketball Association defender and rebounder for half of his life. He won a championship ring with Dallas in 2011, and he was the NBA's defensive player of the year with NY in 2012 before earning an All-Star selection in 2013.

James led the Lakers with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists to finish just a dish shy of his 75th triple-double while Kuzma drained 6 of his 21 points in the final minute to help the Lakers stay afloat. He was the second pick in the 2001 draft by the Clippers, who immediately traded his rights to Chicago.

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