Chandler Parsons will be switching teams this offseason but the forward will not be moving out of Texas. The Dallas Mavericks offered the versatile player a three-year $46 million contract. However, since Parsons was a restricted free agent, the Houston Rockets had three days to match the offer. According to an ESPN report, the Rockets notified Parsons Sunday evening that they declined to match the Mavericks deal. The news of Chandler Parsons’ signing with the Dallas Mavericks gives the team its first major free agent acquisition. Many thought after failing to secure a maximum deal with the recently re-signed Miami Heat star, Chris Bosh that the Rockets would certainty look to retain Parsons.
The 25-year-old spent three seasons with the Rockets. Last year he helped the team form a Big Three of their own. Along with All-Star shooting guard James Harden and Three Time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard, the small forward anchored a potent Houston offensive attack. Parson’s averaged 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assist per game while serving as both a third scoring option and facilitator for the team. The Florida native had a standout year highlighted by a record-setting 10 three-point field goal performance.
The streaky shooting Parsons hit an NBA record 10 second half three pointers in a January 88-87 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. After failing to hit a single three in the first half of the contest, Parsons went on to score a career high 34 points and put the league on notice. Parsons often served as a key playmaker with his ability to finish using his athleticism, shoot with range, handle the ball, rebound and defend. While he does not excel necessarily in any particular facet of the game his balance, versatility and defense were seen as a valuable tool in the Rockets 54 win season. After barely making the first round of the playoffs last season, the Rockets were the fourth seed in the Western Conference Playoffs.
According to reports the Rockets declined Parsons’ original option early in the offseason in an effort to offer Bosh a near max deal. Knowing that they could still match any offer Parsons received the original plan was said to be able re-sign Parsons and add Bosh. However, neither scenario played out as Bosh recommitted his services to the Miami Heat and suddenly the Rockets appeared to be uninterested in paying the wing in excess of $15 million per season.
Instead, the Rockets decided on a less expensive option. The team worked out a sign and trade with the Washington Wizards, which netted them veteran forward Trevor Ariza. Ariza’s deal is reportedly is for four seasons and worth $32 million. In the deal that Parson’s signed with the Dallas Mavericks, he will be eligible to opt out after his second season. The major reason that Houston is believed to have declined to match the Mavericks off for the 6’9″ playmaker is due to the structure of the deal.
In trading away Jeremy Lin and Omar Asik, the Rockets were able to shed some much-needed cap room. However in unexpectedly letting Parsons walk the Rockets failed to address their major agenda of adding another star, while retaining a young asset and productive player. Parsons will be joining aging Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki in the front court.
The former 2011 SEC player of the year and second round draft pick appears to be excited to play alongside the former MVP. “I really appreciate the opportunity Houston gave me and I had three great years there,” Parsons told ESPN. Chandler Parsons also made it clear one of the reasons he agreed to sign with the Dallas Mavericks was because he believes the German shooter is one of the greatest to ever play basketball. A new look Dallas roster will likely feature a dynamic starting lineup with Raymond Felton and the electric Monta Ellis in the backcourt. While Tyson Chandler, Parsons and Nowitzki will play up front. In a deep Western Conference following a bounce back season, the Mavericks may not have signed any of the superstar free agents but, they have certainly appear to have upgraded their roster without overspending.
Commentary by Brandon Wright