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Power Forward Friday: The intriguing Wilson Chandler

Our weekly search for the ideal power forward returns to popular prospects.

Denver Nuggets v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

There was only so long we could sit around and have our yuks about the Raptors’ power forward position. I mean, who can really complain when the team is playing this well? The good times Raps are threatening for the best offense in history, Kyle Lowry literally cannot miss a three, and DeMar DeRozan think he Kobe and mostly is. There’s no reason to sit around and grovel over the frontcourt.

Well, this week, there is. The topic du jour in the world of Raptors Angst has returned to the four spot -- specifically, who should be starting. We’re running out of reasons (a.k.a. there are none) for why Pascal Siakam should be starting over Patrick Patterson. Our own wizard of the written word Daniel Reynolds summed up the argument nicely earlier in the week.

The other solution, of course, is finding a fresh body. Jared Sullinger is off of his scooter, so that’s promising for his role this season. For the more wandering eye, though, there’s continued investigations of role players — guys who can come in on the cheap, stretch the floor, and be reliable enough on defense to give 2Pat some rest. We’ve discussed some here — with admittedly less seriousness as the good times have rolled. This week, we’ll get real.

The Situation

Many of the wandering eyes, it seems, are landing on the Mile High City and Wilson Chandler. After missing the entire 2015-16 season with hip surgery, Chandler is putting up numbers that knock the pants off his career averages. We’re talking 17.2 points per game, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists, all as he’s [Allen Iverson voice] come off the bench. Money-wise, he’s currently in the second year of a 4-year, $46.5 million extension with the Nuggets, and won’t be unrestricted until 2019 when he’s 32 years old.

The Basketball Fit

Why are Raptors writers and fans so high on Chandler? First off, he can shoot. He’s had that notoriety since his Knicks days, before the Carmelo Anthony trade took him west. With health on his side, he’s shooting 45% from the field in 2016-17, making 36% from three — the latter a mark he only topped in his 2012-13 injury-shortened season.

He’s not reliant on his outside shot, though. He has a driving game in the style of James Johnson, slow and steady with a strong finishing ability. His shot chart does more to showcase this than his outside shot, but he really plays like a less muscly, more skilled Patrick Patterson. We can’t clone 2Pat, but Wilson Chandler is pretty close on the offensive end.

On a porous Denver defence — currently ranked 26th in the league — Chandler is a middle-of-the-pack player. His individual defensive rating of 107.8 isn’t great, but is better than many of his rotation teammates. He’s a more attractive commodity on the other end of the floor, but he’s not appear to be an unwilling defender.

The Emotional Fit

I don’t know much about Wilson Chandler’s emotional makeup, but after multiple seasons cut short by injury, the dude is all set to join the Raptors Reform Project. This is already a team chocked full of guys who reinvented their careers and started playing the team game. The addition of Chandler definitely gives colour broadcasters a good story to bring up in the Eastern Conference Finals (sorry, Boston).

The Verdict

Absolutely bring the man in. What are your thoughts on Chandler?