The Houston Rockets emerged as one of the Western Conference’s premier teams this season. Notching 54 wins, the Rockets secured the fourth seed entering the playoffs. The year ended in surprising fashion, as Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard nailed a buzzer-beating three-pointer at the Rose Garden. The play was significant in many ways for the Rockets. Miscommunication on defense between James Harden and Chandler Parsons led to Lillard getting off a good look. Parsons ended up contesting the shot on a switch with outstretched arms. The image could possibly be the last that Rockets’ fans will have of their talented swingman.
Parsons averaged 16.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game on 47.2 percent shooting this season. He was definitely a surprise pickup in the 2011 NBA Draft (No. 58 overall), coupled with the excellent moves to acquire All-Stars Dwight Howard and James Harden. His production and all-around impact has been crucial in Houston’s back-to-back playoff seasons. In a league full of elite, young small forwards, Parsons is only 25 years old with plenty of room to grow. His ability on the defensive end is expected to improve, given good size at 6’9″ on the perimeter. Parsons is also adept in moving the ball, as he averaged 4.4 assists per game on the year.
With a unique skill set and a high ceiling, Parsons still has had his name in a plethora of trade talk. The Rockets are looking to break into the pack of true contenders in the NBA in the mold of the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Miami Heat. Houston is looking to acquire some of the league’s elite, including Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo and Carmelo Anthony. It has been reported that the Rockets are looking to move every player on their roster, except Harden and Howard. There is no doubt that a move for either of these players would elevate the Rockets to, arguably, the best team in the league.
Losing Parsons would definitely cost them a solid piece and a fan favorite, but Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is willing to part ways if it means a championship. With Kevin Love looking to move on from the Minnesota Timberwolves, Parsons could prove to be a key piece in this possible acquisition. Houston is also seeking an All-Star caliber point guard, and the Boston Celtics could listen to offers for Rajon Rondo, looking to get a young prospect in return. Upcoming free-agent Carmelo Anthony could leave the New York Knicks, and allow them to gain an asset if a sign-and-trade is done between both teams involved. The possibilities are endless, and the chances of Parsons residing in Houston look less likely, as deals will possibly be available.