Worst free agent signing in Memphis Grizzlies history: Chandler Parsons
4 years, $94 million
Winning a bid at an auction is often not a victory. It may mean acquiring a certain item or experience, but the cost is generally driven higher through the competition. Every summer, free agency creates a similar dynamic, where market interest drives up prices and disinterest allows teams to find value.
In the summer of 2016, Chandler Parsons was the willing recipient of the former. After two seasons with the Dallas Mavericks that ended prematurely due to knee injuries, many expected Parsons to be a buy-low candidate who could be a good value for teams to sign. If healthy, he could be a really solid offensive piece.
The problem was that multiple teams thought so, and a bidding war of sorts happened behind the scenes. With the Portland Trail Blazers ready to offer a max offer, the Memphis Grizzlies did the same, signing Parsons to a four-year, $94 million maximum contract. A fully healthy Parsons would struggle to make that contract a good one; an ailing one has fallen woefully short.
Persons has appeared in just 95 games over three seasons for the Grizzlies, and never averaged more than 19.9 minutes per game. He never found his shooting stroke, his rebounding or his playmaking.
In short, the same knee issues that hampered him prior to the signing are still present and have turned this into one of the league’s worst contracts. Add in the feud between Parsons and the franchise last year, and it is hard to find a deal worse than this.