A Plan B in the Dallas Mavericks’ free agency plans may be on the horizon. How does Chandler Parsons sound?
All right, it’s a broken record. Anybody who is a free agent, or a trade target, is in the Mavs’ plans. It’s nothing new. But nothing has been discussed in regards to the 25-year-old Parsons making the three-hour commute to make Dallas his new home.
Allow me to break the ice.
If all goes according to reports, Parsons will become a restricted free agent at the beginning of July. The Houston Rockets, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, plan to decline Parsons’ fourth-year option on his rookie contract and he will become a restricted free agent when the calendar turns to July 1.
Parsons is a key cog in the Rockets’ plans for NBA dominance. He was the main recruiter for Dwight Howard during last year’s free agency. So the fact that Houston is prepared to let him walk if teams offer him $10 million-$12 million per year is almost baffling.
Of course, it all comes down to what the Rockets decide to do in free agency. They are one of the few teams considered in acquiring Carmelo Anthony, but they would still need to do some moving and shaking to get a max-level contract that would fit Melo’s needs.
So, for all intents and purposes, let’s say Carmelo decides that his best opportunity is playing in Houston with James Harden and Howard. The Rockets can match any offer for Parsons, but if they were to add another $10 million-$12 million to their salary, Houston would more than likely have to commit more than $65 million for four players, and that doesn’t even include Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin.
Can you say luxury tax? This would be an enticing opportunity for the Mavs to slide in and make a move.
Parsons is one of the rare free agents in this summer’s class that’s young and can put up great numbers. The other is Lance Stephenson, but I’m done talking about those rumors.
Parsons averaged 16.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last season on a Houston team that underachieved. For a team that made a huge splash in getting Howard, the Rockets were supposed to be contenders in the Western Conference, only to be bounced out of the first round by Portland.
Think about it: The Mavs are trying to get younger when it comes to the small forward position. After Carmelo, Parsons might be the second- or third-best small forward available this summer.
If the Rockets want to get greedy and hope they can have a meeting with Dirk Nowitzki, then they might as well allow the luxury of Dallas to have a chit-chat with Parsons.
For what it’s worth, Parsons would be a solid Plan B for Dallas if the Carmelo experiment doesn’t work. He’s young, athletic and a pretty good defender. He’s not at an elite level like Luol Deng or Trevor Ariza, but he’s solid and can get better.
What better way to irk your in-state rivals than by stealing a piece from the future? The Mavs are more adamant about staying away from the luxury tax, and the Rockets surely haven’t received that memo. They want to go all-in and make a run at a championship with a core of stars.
Even if the Rockets can lure Carmelo, where does Parsons fit into the equation? A frontcourt of Anthony, Parsons and Howard? Good luck with that. What about Terrence Jones and where he fits? It makes no sense for the Rockets to risk losing Parsons like this.
And there sit the Mavs, right for the taking. Parsons would become the Mavs’ version of Kawhi Leonard: The guy who is the eventual star of the team while the current superstar winds down his career.
If Dallas can lock up Carmelo, all of this moot. But in the case of him not coming, the Mavs may have a second option only three hours away from Dallas.
You can find Danny Webster on Twitter @DannyWebster21.