From LeBron James to Carmelo Anthony to Chris Bosh, the Rockets have had trouble attracting free agents this summer. Today they decided to let one leave, declining to match Dallas’s offer sheet for restricted free agent Chandler Parsons.
In the wake of Bosh’s decision to stay with the Heat, Houston signed Trevor Ariza, who plays the same position as Parsons, small forward. Still, there was some thought that the Rockets could keep Parsons, and either use Ariza as a swingman or play Parsons as a “stretch four” (a power forward who relies more on shooting ability than post moves).
However, the Rockets apparently came to the conclusion that the three-year, $46 million dollar offer made by Dallas was too rich for their blood. As Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski put it:
Houston ultimately decided the contract would be too crippling for the franchise’s cap flexibility and make it more difficult to construct a championship roster around Dwight Howard and James Harden. The terms of the offer sheet, negotiated by agent Dan Fegan, would’ve had too devastating of cap consequences for the Rockets to match. The contract also has an opt-out clause for Parsons after the second season.
Dallas can now add the small forward to a front court that includes Dirk Nowitzki, whose acceptance of a vastly reduced salary paved the way for the signing of Parsons, and center Tyson Chandler, who was a previous offseason acquisition.
Taken by Houston in the second round (38th overall) of the 2011 draft, Parsons averaged 16.6 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per game last season. ESPN ranked him 13 among NBA small forwards with a 15.9 player efficiency rating (the league average in this metric is 15.0). Interestingly, despite officially being a Maverick for mere minutes, Chandler apparently is already a “Mavs fan for life.”
HELLLLLLLLLO DALLAS #MFFL
— Chandler Parsons (@ChandlerParsons) July 13, 2014
I guess buttering up the local fan base is also a part of his skill set.