Lakers sign Chandler to fill need at center

As expected, the Los Angeles Lakers have signed veteran center Tyson Chandler, the team announced in a new release.

Chandler is in his 18th season after entering the National Basketball Association draft out of high school in 2001.

James contributed 21 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and calmed the nerves of his young colleagues down the stretch. When you're homegrown from here and going to high school and all that and you've had these same fans, and now you represent the jersey that everybody has been cheering for their entire lives, you kind of become one.

Chandler, now 36, would debut with the Lakers on Wednesday night after he was bought out following three seasons with the Suns. He immediately provided defense, rebounding and hard picks — all areas of need for the Lakers — while playing a surprising 23 minutes.

While other key players Pascal Siakam had 21 points, Kyle Lowry 16 points and Serge Ibaka 14 points.

Magic Johnson has said that Walton's job is safe for now and that he'll finish out the year as head coach (granted nothing "drastic" happens, whatever that may mean), but the addition of Chandler certainly helps his chances of having more than just this year to work for the organization.

The Lakers host Minnesota on Wednesday night.

"I think it helps stabilize us", Walton said.

Butler also played Monday against the Clippers in the Wolves' 120-109 loss. Crushed on the boards the last time they met, this time the Lakers outrebounded the Timberwolves 47-40. Hart hit four 3-pointers in the first half, and Kuzma hit a buzzer-beating 3 to limit Minnesota's lead to 67-65. Minnesota had a 32-30 lead after the first 12 minutes. "We finally put it together", said Australia's Simmons. His availability for Saturday's game against the Sacramento Kings is now unclear. The matchup with the Kings is the first of a back-to-back for the Lakers.

Vanessa Coleman