NBA Rumors: Wilson Chandler Has No Chance of Saving Raptors' Season

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2012

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 19:  Forward Wilson Chandler #21 of the Denver Nuggets drives against Center Erick Dampier #25 of the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on March 19, 2011 in Miami, Florida.  The Heat defeated the Nuggets 103-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

Restricted free agent Wilson Chandler is the most coveted player on the market as teams await him to become eligible after a stay in China. That said, the Toronto Raptors shouldn't bother clearing space for the swingman since he isn't enough to save their forgettable season.

Doug Smith of the Toronto Star updated the situation:

The Raptors are doing a little bit of mid-season free agent shopping. Wilson Chandler, who just completed one season in China, was in town Wednesday being wooed by the Raptors, who covet the versatile forward.

Chandler, it should be noted, also visited this week with his former team, the Denver Nuggets, and there is nothing imminent brewing although it won’t be long until he decides where he’d like to spend at least the rest of this season.

Chandler spent the first four seasons of his career with the New York Knicks, and really started to come into his own before being traded to the Nuggets. After the deal, something just didn't click and he struggled down the stretch.

The reason he's being so heavily sought is the potential he showed with the Knicks. When he was willing to attack the basket, the DePaul product showed flashes of becoming a truly dynamic scoring threat. No team ever has enough of those.

In order to sign him, however, the Raptors would need to clear both cap space and a roster spot. Since sign-and-trade deals aren't allowed during the regular season, that's a taller task than it may seem on the surface.

That means the cost of adding Chandler to the roster would far exceed the actual contract value. The only way it would make any sense for the Raptors would be if they were in the heat of a playoff race, which they aren't this season.

Toronto's 10-23 record places the team 12th in the Eastern Conference, and the chances of the Raptors chasing down the Boston Celtics or New York Knicks are slim to none.

Although the Raptors have always shown interest in Chandler, they have to be careful not to go overboard just to land him. He's not going to provide enough scoring punch to change their fortunes this season.

Teams often fall into the trap of falling in love with a certain player then proceeding to overpay to get him. For a team like the Raptors, who have only made the playoffs twice in the last nine seasons, they can't afford any more setbacks.

While a deal for Chandler might look like a good idea on the surface, the deeper you dig the more obvious it becomes Toronto should avoid the sweepstakes.