Sources: Warriors' No. 1 target is Tyson Chandler

December, 6, 2011
12/06/11
11:46
PM CT


Make that two known teams that have directly courted Dallas Mavericks free agent Tyson Chandler.

The Golden State Warriors had their first direct contact with Chandler on Tuesday, according to sources with knowledge of the discussions.

The Warriors, sources said, have made Chandler their No. 1 roster target -- no matter what happens with their recent trade talks with the New Orleans Hornets about Chris Paul --- and join the Houston Rockets on the list of teams to directly engage Chandler in the past 48 hours.

The New Jersey Nets are also expected to talk with Chandler this week.

Sources say negotiations between the Mavericks and Chandler are essentially frozen, with Dallas determined to maintain as much payroll flexibility as possible for the summer of 2012, even if it means losing the defensive lynchpin of the first championship team in franchise history.

The Mavericks fear that matching the offers Chandler will get on the open market will not only take them out of the race for 2012 free-agent stars Dwight Howard, Deron Williams and Paul but also prevent them from finding a younger cornerstone player to team with Dirk Nowitzki as the 33-year-old gets older.

According to one source close to the situation, Chandler's deal from whoever wins the race to sign him will be at least $50 million over four years.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsD. Nowitzki 6.2
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9