Chandler, who spent the first part of the season balling in China, has now been backed into a corner. The restricted free agent can sign with the Nuggets, or he can play for a team that is not in the NBA.
The second option appears to be in consideration.
Sam Amick of SI.com explains.
Chandler, who played in China during the lockout but was recently cleared by FIBA to return to the NBA, had until March 1 to sign an offer sheet with another team and force Denver to match. But since no offer sheets were signed and Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri has made it clear he will only sign Chandler to a long-term deal, the four-year veteran may decide to play in Italy and restart negotiations this summer when he would still be a restricted free agent.
Teams with cap space could then join the bidding and the question of whether the Nuggets would match wouldn't be so certain then as it was before. Luchey, who made it clear that the negotiations with Ujiri continue, said one offer sheet came in that was declined (he wouldn't specify which team).
The Nuggets wouldn't have to break the bank to sign Chandler. At the very least, they could sign him to a short-term deal. They aren't competing against much. It's not like he is going to ink a long deal in Italy.
And they need to make sure they get this done. The 24-year-old small forward would be a huge addition to the Nuggets. He would significantly bolster their depth and a a good deal of versatility.
This is a Nuggets team that has dealt with a rash of injuries and slumped to eighth in the Western Conference. Chandler could instantly help them get back on track.