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Friday, June 10, 2011
Playoff run could help Chandler stay with Mavs

By Calvin Watkins

Jason Kidd, the oldest player participating in these NBA Finals at age 38, was talking about the business of basketball late Thursday night. Kidd, who has played with several teams and is on his second stint with the Mavericks, understands that seasons dictate whether or not you stay with a specific team.

"You learn that about basketball, the business side, but you never stop working," Kidd said.

Which brings us to Mavericks forward Tyson Chandler. He's become an important player during this postseason run with the Mavericks one victory away from the franchise's first NBA title.

Chandler is a free agent when the season ends either Sunday with Game 6 or Tuesday in Game 7 and will be sought after due to his age, 28, and ability to score and defend.

"All of that will happen when it happens," Chandler said after scoring 13 points and grabbing seven rebounds in the Game 5 victory over the Miami Heat on Thursday night. "I'm focused on closing out [the series]."

But Chandler smiled when he was talking about the Mavericks because if he re-signs here it will give him the stability he's been looking for since coming into the league as a first-round pick in 2001. He played five seasons with Chicago, three in New Orleans, one in Charlotte and now the Mavericks.

In 74 regular season games, Chandler averaged 10.1 points and 9.4 rebounds. This postseason, Chandler has remained steady, especially on the defensive end with his 8.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game averages.

"You just want the opportunity, that’s all I ever wanted my entire career was to be a winner and be associated with a winning team," Chandler said. "I get out there and I pour my heart out and play with a lot of passion. It feels good to just be recognized for that."