Originally Posted by carp
They don't have his bird rights if he becomes a RFA. He was traded from NY. As for becoming a UFA, they'd lose all control in bargaining. They'd be foolish to sign him for this year only. Further, it's not a guarantee that they can lock him up for super cheap... he'd need to agree too. At least as an RFA, they'd hold the right to match any offer, which is often enough to discourage other teams from making offers.
Chandler will certainly be a Bird free agent for Denver, whether they sign him for the rest of the year (making him an UFA) or let him stay a RFA this summer.
Trading a player does not lose them their Bird rights. Only in a very rare case (a player signing a one year contract that would get them to Early Bird status, then being traded) loses a player their Early Bird Rights, and in that case the player can veto a trade involving them. The only way to lose your full Bird Rights is to sign with another team before you've put in 3 years with the same team. Now that Chandler has put in his 3 years (well, 4 - 3.5 with NYK, 0.5 with DEN, on the same contract), Denver has his Bird Rights until he signs a contract with another team.
And if he signs a one year contract this year (which he won't - Denver would be moronic to even offer anything at this point) Denver would retain his Bird Rights, as he still would qualify as having served a term of 3 or more years on the same team (as trades carry Bird Rights with them).