At least not this season, he won’t.
I noticed an interesting little “nugget” within Marc Berman’s piece for the New York Post today regarding former-Knick, Wilson Chandler:
Another Chinese league player of interest also would be ex-Knick Wilson Chandler, who still is playing in Asia and also wouldn’t be eligible until March. Multiple sources said Chandler would love a return to the Knicks, who reluctantly traded him to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony deal last February.
While the return of Chandler would be a welcome sight in the newly-renovated Garden, it’s only slightly less probable than it is feasible, regardless of what Chandler “loves.”
Chandler is a restricted free agent, and as such, the Denver Nuggets have a right to match any offer he receives from another team. Sure, the Knicks can offer their $2.5m “room” exception, but to think a) that Chandler would leave a multi-year offer from another club on the table, and b) that Denver wouldn’t match New York’s offer, is simply ignoring reality.
It’s entirely possible that if Chandler is retained by Denver on a one-year deal – matching another club’s offer – that the forward could re-sign with the Knicks for their’ mid-level exception next season. Alternatively, a sign-and-trade could be worked out with one of New York’s rostered players, but as for the 2011-12 campaign? Not so much.
As I suggested last May, if the Knicks want to mine another Nugget, they are going to have to focus on unrestricted free agent, Kenyon Martin. Martin, who was recently waived by his Chinese team, Xinjiang, should be able to return to the NBA by late-February.
Then again, if you believe Alan Hahn – and really, at this point, who doesn’t? – the Knicks may not be interested in Martin.
I suspect this may be due to Martin’s comments after Carmelo Anthony was traded to the Knicks last February, when the former said “[W]e all know ‘Melo is a great player, but I don’t think one player has ever won a championship in this league. If we play as a team and pass the ball freely, there’s no doubt in my mind we can win [without him].
Time will tell, folks.