The strife within the organization makes the off-season signing of center Tyson Chandler so much more important.
As Chandler has bounced around the NBA during his 14-year career, he has been able to provide some stability at his most recent stops.
In Dallas, he served as the anchor in the middle, providing a rugged edge to a team in need of a physical identity.
The tactic worked perfectly as Chandler helped the Mavericks capture the first championship in franchise history as he led all playoff performers in offensive rebounds, total rebounds and personal fouls during the 2011 post season.
When he was in New York, Chandler was crowned as the Defensive Player of the Year. His presence single-handedly prevented the Knicks defense from cratering into the one of the worst teams in the NBA.
The year after New York allowed Chandler to walk in free agency, the team’s ranking in points allowed per game plummeted from eighth in the league all the way down to 22nd.
For whatever reason, even though the 32-year-old center has been able to offer leadership within the locker room, but at the end of each of the last two seasons, he was determined to be expendable.
New York began overhauling its roster by sending Chandler back to the Mavericks two years ago.
Once free agency began this summer, the Mavericks didn’t tender an offer to Chandler, instead secured a verbal agreement with Clippers center DeAndre Jordan.
Phoenix wanted to rebuild its front court and believed the addition of Chandler could help land an even more prominent player.
On the second day of free agency, the Suns signed the second overall pick of the 2001 NBA Draft to a four-year, $52 million contract and then began shedding salary to make a run at LaMarcus Aldridge.
The tactic almost worked flawlessly, as Aldridge narrowed down his final choices to Phoenix and San Antonio.
The lure of playing in his home state and joining the most winning organization since the turn of the century proved to be too large of a hurdle to land the four-time All-Star.
As the city was tearing down a the five-story banner featuring Aldridge in a Suns jersey, the one of the rotation players on the team began pulling away from the organization.
Miffed at the trade of his twin brother to Detroit, Markieef Morris publicly demanded a trade away from Phoenix.
In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Morris declared he was no longer a part of the team, as he felt disrespected for not being consulted on the trade of his brother.
While Morris may no longer want to be a part of the team, Chandler is embracing his role as a mentor for the younger players on the team, including 22-year-old center Alex Len.
The rest of the league may be embracing small ball, employing quicker players capable of drawing bigger defenders away from the basket, but Chandler has embraced his role as an enforcer.
Plenty of centers are capable of being ran off the floor, but even after a combined 995 regular and post season appearances, Chandler still possesses enough foot speed to close out shooters on the perimeter or chase an opponent down at the rim.
The constant movement the 7-foot-1 center plays with makes him a terror to defend.
Unlike so many other players in the league, Chandler doesn’t crave the ball on the offensive end, as his career average in rebounds per game (9.3) surpasses his scoring output (8.8) during the course of his career.
During his return season to Dallas, Chandler established himself as one of the most prolific offensive rebounders in the league, as his total of 294 ranked as the third highest in the NBA.
He was even more dominant in running the pick-and-roll.
The basic offensive set became unstoppable as Chandler marched towards the rim.
As the recipient of a pass off the pick-and-roll, Chandler managed to put points onto the scoreboard 71.3 percent of the time, placing him into the 97.7th percentile in the league.
Dallas ran a pick-and-roll involving Chandler 143 times, producing a total of 79 field goals and 202 points.
Phoenix acquired a player that makes the most of his shot attempts. Chandler has averaged just 5.6 shots a game during his career, but he has converted 59.1 percent of his attempts from the field.
Last season, his 179 dunks ranked as the second most in the NBA.
There has been plenty of turmoil within the Suns organization over the past six months, with two prominent players demanding a trade away from the team, but the presence of Chandler could finally push Phoenix among the elite teams in the Western Conference.