Tyson Chandler is ready for a fresh start. The Chicago Bulls agreed Wednesday to send the center to the New Orleans Hornets for veteran forward P.J. Brown and swingman J.R. Smith, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday night on its Web site.
Officials with both the Bulls and the Hornets declined comment.
"It's a great basketball opportunity to play with a bunch of young, up-and-coming guys. That's the thing I'm excited about," Chandler told the newspaper. "They're moving the team in a direction that fits me well."
The deal cannot become official until July 12, when an NBA free agent signing moratorium ends.
It would be the second major move of the offseason in the Bulls' frontcourt. Four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace agreed earlier this week to a four-year deal reportedly worth $60 million, a person within the NBA told The Associated Press.
The Bulls also acquired LSU shot-blocking forward Tyrus Thomas after the draft last week.
Chandler averaged 5.3 points and 9.0 rebounds last season after signing a six-year contract worth about $60 million. In New Orleans, he will join a team that improved by 20 games last season, staying in the Western Conference playoff race until the final week of the season before finishing 38-44.
The Hornets feature the NBA's rookie of the year, point guard Chris Paul. Since the negotiating period began on Saturday, they have agreed to terms with free agents Peja Stojakovic and Bobby Jackson
"I can help a team make the playoffs," Chandler said. "I'll get a chance to play with a great, young point guard."
Brown, averaged 9.0 points and 7.3 rebounds last season for the Hornets, was the last remaining player from the franchise's days in Charlotte. Now, only leading scorer David West is a holdover from the Hornets' pre-Byron Scott era.
"He's gone through a lot with this franchise," said Brown's agent, Mark Bartelstein. "It's tough to leave but that's part of the business."
Smith, the Hornets' first-round pick in 2004 out of St. Benedict's (N.J.) Prep, averaged 7.7 points in 55 games. The co-MVP of the 2004 McDonald's All-American high-school all-star game, Smith started 24 of the Hornets' first 25 games last season before being removed from the starting lineup in early January after falling out of favor with the coaching staff.
The Hornets on Wednesday also signed 2006 first-round picks Hilton Armstrong and Cedric Simmons, and waived guard Moochie Norris.