Desperate for Wing Help, Hawks Should Consider Chandler Parsons

Mar 9, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons (25) makes a jump shot against the Detroit Pistons during the second quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 9, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons (25) makes a jump shot against the Detroit Pistons during the second quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Desperate for perimeter shooting help, could Chandler Parsons be an effective signing for the Atlanta Hawks?

The Atlanta Hawks brought their franchise back to true relevance in the 2014-15 season, earning the No. 1 seed in the NBA’s Eastern Conference with a 60-22 record and advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals before being swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In the 2015-16 season, the Hawks took a step back, but ended up with a similar result come playoff time.

The team finished the regular season with a 48-34 record, earning the No. 4 seed in the East, but could not find a way to get past the second round of the playoffs, once again meeting the Cavaliers and losing the series 4-0.

In both instances, the Hawks struggled to keep up with the scoring punch of the Cavaliers.

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Despite some obvious struggles in the 2015 playoffs, having DeMarre Carroll as part of the equation left more answers than questions on both ends of the court for the Hawks during their run that season.

After he jumped ship to the Toronto Raptors last summer in free agency, the Hawks were never able to really replace his scoring punch.

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Kent Bazemore had a career year for the team this past season, averaging 11.6 points per game and becoming a very solid option as a perimeter defender.

However, it became abundantly more clear as their series with the Cavs came to a screeching halt, that the team needed more offense from a player who could create his own shot on more of a regular basis.

The Hawks’ field goal percentage as a team dropped from 46.6 percent in ’14-15 to 45.8 percent this year.

From beyond the arc, the Hawks regressed from 38.0 percent to 35.0 percent, making fewer of their shots from deep (818 in ’14-15 vs. 815 in ’15-’16) on 175 more attempts.

It was a clear step back offensively for a team that was one of the most potent shooting teams in the NBA two seasons ago and for a roster desperate to return to offensive form, pursuing an elite shooter on the perimeter should be made a priority.

This, is of course, where the free agency market comes into play, and who better to snag on the wing than free agent small forward Chandler Parsons?

The obvious elephant in the room with any deal for Parsons would be his knee issues. Parsons had his season end prematurely for the second straight season, as he played only 61 games before falling victim to a torn meniscus in his right knee.

Despite his points per game dropping to 13.7 per contest, the lowest mark since his rookie year in 2011-12, Parsons had the highest overall field goal percentage of his career at 49.2 percent, while also notching a career-best from behind the three point line, knocking down 41.4% of his attempts.

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Additionally, Parsons’ per-36 minutes metrics remained solid, as he posted the second highest points per game of his career last season at 16.7 points per game. His rebounding numbers using these metrics were strong, as he pulled down 5.7 per contest.

As if these numbers are not enough, on an advanced metrics scale, there are signs pointing to Parsons having the second best offensive season of his career efficiency-wise last year, despite his deceiving total of 13.7 points per game.

Parsons posted the highest true shooting percentage (a combination of two-point field goals, three-point field goals, and free throws made) of his career at 58.9 percent.

Parsons put up his second-highest player efficiency rating of his career at 16.2 last season, which is a tick lower than his career high of 16.3 in 2014-15 and above the league average of around 15.0.

The Hawks are expected to pursue their own free agent big man, Al Horford. They are also rumored to be pushing for a free agent visit with Kevin Durant.

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However, if the team wants an instant improvement in their shooting arsenal and believe that he can stay healthy, forward Chandler Parsons makes a ton of sense for not only this upcoming season, but well into the future.