Chandler's best hope right now is the fact that at 7-foot-1, he's the tallest player and best shot blocker on a center-thin roster. Chandler has struggled with ankle injuries the past two seasons, keeping him out of 62 games, and his lack of activity is showing.
"He's not in shape, it appears now," USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told FanHouse after Wednesday's second day of camp. "And it's been a while since he's really competed because of his injuries. ... [Chandler needs] to get himself in real shape. His opportunity is enhanced [to make the team] because of what he does. If he's on, he can block shots."
Mavs owner Mark Cuban sent out feelers to Mavs personnel in Las Vegas and received differing information. Cuban took to his Twitter feed Thursday to counter Colangelo's assessment: "talked to our folks out at USA Basketball. Says Tyson is doing great. Feeling great. ready to go..Go get em TC," Cuban wrote.
The Mavs acquired Chandler last week in a trade with Charlotte to back up starting center Brendan Haywood. On several occassions, Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson has deemed Chandler "as healthy as a horse."
He might be healthy, but now it's time for him to get into shape. For those worried about Chandler suffering an injury if he plays for Team USA, considering his lack of physical conditioning at the moment, perhaps it would be the best thing for him heading into October training camp.