Phoenix Suns center Tyson Chandler has missed the last eight games with a hamstring injury, but the Suns’ prized offseason acquisition is set to return to the lineup against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday. However, Chandler will come off the bench and Alex Len will continue to start.
Phoenix signed Chandler to a four-year, $52 million contract this offseason, but it’s been a disappointing start to the year for the veteran big man thanks to the injury and mediocre play. He’s averaging 5.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 24.1 minutes per game on the season. The 33-year-old is also shooting just 46.4 percent from the floor, which is well below his 59 percent career mark.
While Chandler hasn’t been all that effective, his return should provide a boost to a Suns team that could use it. Phoenix went 3-5 in the eight games he missed, and the defense struggled for much of that stretch. The Suns’ defense hasn’t been good all year, but perhaps a healthy and rejuvenated Chandler can help turn things around on that end.
Len has had some success as a starter this season, so it makes sense to keep him there and ease Chandler back in off the bench. Len is averaging 10.6 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting 53.6 percent as a starter.