The Dallas Mavericks are done waiting, and the Houston Rockets are on the clock.
ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported that the Mavs and small forward Chandler Parsons have agreed to a three-year offer sheet worth approximately $46 million, with a player option in Year Three. The Rockets now have three days to match that offer for the restricted free agent, or they will lose the 25-year-old small forward to the in-state rival Mavs.
Once the clock strikes 12:01 a.m. ET, Parsons will be able to sign that offer sheet. Right now, as it stands, luck is on the Mavs’ side to lure Parsons to Dallas.
There’s no denying that Dallas may have overpaid for Parsons. Paying $15 million a year for a young player with a huge upside seems like a stretch, but the market was determined when the Charlotte Hornets decided to offer Gordon Hayward a $63 million offer sheet. Compare the players, who would you rather have? There’s no question.
But now the waiting process begins, and if you’re a Mavs fan, that’s either good or bad.
It’s clear that Houston wants Chris Bosh and is willing to give him a max contract of four years and $88 million. The Rockets now have to make a choice: Do they sign Bosh and give up on Parsons, or pass on Bosh going elsewhere?
If Houston does match Parsons’ offer, that could really hinder Dallas’ chances at getting either Luol Deng or Trevor Ariza. But that also means that Bosh doesn’t go to Houston, while also adding to the possibility that LeBron James may not re-sign with the Miami Heat, meaning the Rockets completely struck out this summer.
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted two key notes in regards to discussions between the Rockets and Parsons: Both sides negotiated throughout the day, and didn’t come to an agreement. If Parsons is accepting Dallas’ $15 million-per-year offer, that means Houston was low-balling Parsons, and perhaps by a significant margin.
The second was Rockets general manager Daryl Morey had been in contact with the agents of both Ariza and Deng, as well as Paul Pierce. In short, if they’re already on the phone with those three, then the Rockets must be convinced they have minimal chance of hanging on to Parsons, regardless if they get Bosh.
But if you’re the Rockets, you’ll still be glued to Twitter the next three days wondering if LeBron decides to go back to Cleveland or not.
If you’re Chris Sheridan, you’re betting your entire life savings on LeBron going back to Cleveland.
But Dallas has called Houston’s bluff in the process, and it feels like Dallas wins regardless of the outcome
It was a long shot for the Mavs to either win the LeBron or Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes. The second best option the whole time was Parsons, whose athleticism and 3-point shooting would be a pleasant welcome to Dallas at the small forward position.
Paying that much money to Parsons could come at a price. That deal would essentially take all cap space away from the Mavs, and make it much more difficult to bring back Vince Carter. ESPN Dallas’ Tim MacMahon reported that the Mavs remain confident in bringing back Carter, but at the cap room exception of $2.73 million.
Carter, who has been a bargain for Dallas the last few years, was hoping for a new deal ranging from $3 million-$5 million.
The possibility that’s still very much alive is Dallas using its stretch provision on Raymond Felton, freeing up the $3.79 million he’s owed this season and having enough to bring back Carter, as well as sign veteran point guard Mo Williams to the minimum.
But even if that doesn’t happen, Dallas is going all-in and it’s a great move. The Mavs were done waiting on what LeBron or Carmelo were going to do, and have now forced Houston to make a huge decision going forward.
And if the Rockets don’t match, that Mavs front court looks pretty formidable.