The talks are getting deeper and deeper as the offseason goes on and the possibility of trading Ill Will for the Spaniard have arose again. I personally find this rumor to be untrue and I believe the insiders over at ESPN are trying to revive their relevancy during this offseason drought. Even if the rumors are true, its unclear if Chandler will be enough to fit Portland's needs. Word is they're out for a 1st round draft pick,(Boston and Chicago have supposedly offered theirs) something we don't have. We can trade Chandler for a first round pick elsewhere and then deal that pick to Portland if the Knicks want Rudy that badly, but I don't see us jumping through too many hoops for this one guy. In the event that this rumor is true I've decided to compare both and see who comes out as the winner. I'll check my Ill Will bias at the door so this cage match will be a fair fight.
It seems that there's been a tiny margin of folks around here that credit Rudy for being the more athletic of the two and it puzzles my mind. If you go deeper into the statistics and actual on court play you can easily agree that Chandler gets the nod in this face off. At first glance, people who are unfamiliar with the situation might say Fernandez is the better dunker since he was in the Dunk Contest and Chandler was not. The guy is a highflyer of course but him being in the Dunk Contest doesn't make him a better dunker or more athletic. He couldn't even win the damn thing. Chandler went up for 45 dunks last season compared to Rudy's 4 or 5. I'll cut Rudy some slack here, he didn't play as many minutes as Chandler and the system in Portland doesn't let his dunking abilities flourish, but when you average 23 Minutes in 62 games and still only come up with 4 dunks? That's not kosher cool, especially for a guy who likes to bang. Dunking isn't the entire story. Chandler got his nickname for a reason, Ill Will can ball. He's the ultimate slasher, his 3 isn't respectable and his mid range game isn't top notch but he's quick and gets to the basket aggressively. He's bigger, stronger and more athletic then Rudy Fernandez is. Head to head Rudy doesn't stand a chance.
This battle may not be as one sided as you may think. Fernandez usually automatically wins the shooting battle between the two but Wilson Chandler puts up a fight and a damn good one. Lets take a peek at some numbers. Last year Rudy Fernandez averaged a Field Goal Percentage of .37 while averaging 6.8 Attempts and 2.6 Made. His 3 Point Percentage was .36 last year while averaging 4.3 Attempts and 1.6 Made. All of this was done averaging 23.2 Minutes Per Game in 62 Games. He's a 40% Field Goal shooter and a 38% 3 Point shooter in his career. Last year Wilson Chandler averaged a Field Goal Percentage of .47 while averaging 13.2 Attempts and 6.3 Made. His 3 Point Percentage was .26 last year while averaging 2.3 Attempts and 0.6 Made. All of this was done averaging 35.7 Minutes Per Game in 65 Games. He's a 45% Field Goal shooter and a 30% 3 Point shooter in his career. These stats show that Fernandez isn't head over heels better then Chandler when it comes to shooting. In Rudy's favor I will say this, most of Chandler shots are high percentage shots using his slashing tendencies. The majority of his attempts are more then likely to be in or close to the paint, although I'm not 100% sure I'd bet money on it. If you look at the stats there is no arguing that Chandler is more efficient. Rudy is definitely the better outside shooter and maybe his percentage would rise if he played more games and had more minutes, who knows. I'm gonna call this bout even. Chandler gets a point for his efficiency and Fernandez gets a point for being more of a shooter then Chandler is. He pulls up for jumpers and 3's more often then Chandler while Chandler's high shooting percentage most likely credits from close range shots. Calling it a draw seems fair to me. Both of these guys can score.
I don't think there is even a question as to who is the better defender here. Rudy Fernandez isn't a complete slouch, he at least tries to play defense which is more then I can say about some of our players from last season. He's quick and lanky and does somewhat near average when it comes to defense but he doesn't stand a chance being compared to Wilson Chandler's D. Chandler is a SF who can play SG or PF. He has above average blocking ability for a SF, (Anyone remember the game winning block on the Hawks? The place was rockin!) he can rebound like he's a PF, and he can guard at the 2,3 and 4. He's a athletic slasher on offense and he brings that same fearlessness to the defensive side as well. Rudy Fernandez isn't going to come in and give you a block or those 5 rebounds every night. It just isn't going to happen. Chandler is one of those silent but deadly type of guys and he lets his game speak for him. He isn't great at one thing but he's extremely balanced on both sides of the floor. He does a bunch on defense that isn't in the stat book also. He disrupts shots, he forces bad passes, he does it all. He brought in 46 steals compared to Rudy's 62, but he still gives effort which is what we need most. Defensive effort. Chandler takes this one hands down.
So in the end Wilson Chandler is victorious, in my opinion he is at least. I'm hoping we don't trade Chandler, a stand up guy that comes to work and does his business no questions asked, for Fernandez, a whining baby who rather sit out for two years and go play in Spain if he doesn't get what he wants. If we trade for him and he decides to sit out because D'antoni can't speak Spanish or some crap shit like that I myself would kick his ass. I do not want him here unless we trade Bill Walker! We have a ton of SG's anyway. Lets stay smart Donnie!