Nets forward Wilson Chandler never even suited up for his new team before being suspended for 25 games by the NBA for using performance-enhancing drugs.
The league announced the suspension — without pay — was for testing positive for Ipamorelin. Chandler’s suspension will start with the next regular-season game for which he’s eligible and physically able to play.
The Nets can’t sign a replacement for the first five games of the ban, and will be without Chandler until mid-December.
“During my injury rehab process, before I signed with the Nets, I was prescribed a treatment that included small doses of a substance recently added to the NBA’s prohibited substance list,” Chandler, 32, said in a statement to ESPN.
“I did not realize this substance was banned, and neither did the doctor. I accept responsibility and apologize to my Nets teammates, coaches, front office and fans for this mistake. I will continue to work hard to prepare for the upcoming season.”
Ipamorelin is a growth hormone releasing peptide, according to steroid.com. It helps with improving lean muscle mass, decreasing body fat and — as Chandler mentioned — recovering from injuries. The substance has been on the NBA’s banned list since 2016-17, ESPN reported.
Chandler averaged 6.0 points and 4.2 rebounds in 23.1 minutes over 51 games last season, split between the Clippers and 76ers.
With All-Star power forward Kevin Durant already sidelined for most, if not all, of the upcoming campaign, the Nets signed Chandler last month to a one-year, minimum free-agent deal as combo-forward depth for the likes of Joe Harris, Taurean Prince and Rodions Kurucs.
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Brooklyn can move Chandler off its active roster after the fifth game of his ban, so it could open up a spot for a temporary replacement after its Nov. 1 tilt against the Rockets. Once Chandler comes back, the Nets would have to waive or trade a player to make room.
About half the Nets roster spent much of this month in Los Angeles for some Kyrie Irving-led workouts, and several other NBA players joined in as well. Carmelo Anthony — whom Chandler actually was traded for in 2011 — took part in those pickup games, and while a source close to the ex-Knick told The Post there was “nothing to it,” he could become more of an option when the Nets get a 16th player.
Anthony played with Irving, Durant and DeAndre Jordan in the 2016 Rio Olympics. A source told The Post that several veteran Nets were lobbying the front office to sign Anthony, and the Athletic reported Thursday that Irving and Durant were among them.
The 25-game suspension will cost Wilson Chandler $23,316 per game and a total of $582,898 of his $2,564,753 salary. If he fails another PED test, a second suspension would be for 55 games.