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Oklahoma City Thunder can only dream about what the Tyson Chandler trade might have been

By John Rohde Modified: February 20, 2009 at 4:47 am •  Published: February 20, 2009

photo - Tyson  Chandler - This photo is from December, 2006. BY HUGH SCOTT
Tyson Chandler - This photo is from December, 2006. BY HUGH SCOTT

/> On Thursday morning, the Pacers reportedly made a run at Chandler, but nothing came of it.

There is no way to overstate what Chandler potentially could have meant to the Thunder.

Had he stayed healthy, he might have helped make the Thunder a contender for the playoffs as early as next season.

The Thunder didn’t get too attached to Chandler because the trade never went through. Pending an approved medical exam, no trade ever goes through.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he will remain focused on the players he has, not the player he nearly had.

While everyone was asking about Chandler, Chandler, Chandler, a man requiring crutches focused on his two returning teammates.

"It’ll be great to have two solid guys back with us,” Thunder wingman Desmond Mason said of Smith and Wilcox.

Mason spoke glowingly of Chandler when prodded — "He’s really growing into one of the best centers in the league” — but Mason quickly refocused his attention on Smith and Wilcox.

"They’re two true professionals,” Mason said. "We’ve been playing good ball around here lately, and they’ve been a part of that. Now it’s time to (get) back to what we’ve been working on.”

Roughly 10 minutes after Mason spoke, one of his teammates suddenly was gone again.

Wilcox was traded to the Knicks in exchange for Malik Rose.

Shortly after that, Smith was rumored to be on the wish list of the Celtics and Cavaliers should the Thunder buy out his contract.

Then Mason suddenly was gone on a flight to Phoenix. Rest easy, he was on the Thunder’s team plane.

Just to make sure everyone is accounted for, perhaps Brooks should have roll call.

John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.

Related Links
Jenni Carlson asses the trade

A closer look at turf toe Turf toe is a condition that involves the hyperextension, spraining or tearing of ligaments in the big toe. The condition is common in athletes, particularly those who have played sports on hard, artificial surfaces.

NBA players, such as Hornets center Tyson Chandler, are not immune to turf toe. The painful condition can be bad enough to sideline athletes for weeks — if not end their career.

Multi-sport star Deion Sanders suffered a career-ending case of turf toe. Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Lambert retired because of turf toe, suffered when he was tackling locomotive running back Earl Campbell. Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden has battled turf toe on the right foot and left foot at the same time.

According to, Chandler was bothered by turf toe in last season’s playoffs.

Chandler told the Web site on Wednesday that Dr. Carlan Yates, the Thunder’s team physician, informed the 7-foot-1 center: "I have no doubt you can play on it. I’m just saying it could take a turn for the worse if you come down on somebody’s foot or hyperextended it or something.”

That was a risk the Thunder apparently didn’t want to take.


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