Updated on July 10 at 2:00 a.m.
Former Florida Gators forward Chandler Parsons may be headed 240 miles north within the state of Texas if the Dallas Mavericks have their way after the team agreed to terms Wednesday afternoon on a three-year, $46 million offer sheet with the Houston Rockets‘ restricted free agent.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports and Marc Stein of ESPN.com both reported that Parsons has agreed to the terms of the offer sheet and will officially sign it first thing Thursday morning once the NBA allows free agents to ink new contracts. The Rockets will have three days to match the offer and bring Parsons back.
Wojnarowski further reports that Parsons ultimately decided to sign the deal after he and Houston “negotiated throughout the day but were unable to come to an agreement” on a new contract. Dallas’s offer sheet includes a player option for the third season as well as a 15 percent trade kicker should he be moved.
Update I: A source close to the situation told OnlyGators.com late Wednesday night that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is personally flying to Florida to have Parsons sign the offer sheet at 12:01 a.m. Thursday morning.
The source also notes that Parsons has established a strong relationship with Cuban and prefers to play in Dallas over Houston next season.
Update II: Parsons officially signed the Mavericks’ offer sheet early Thursday. He is pictured below celebrating with Cuban in Florida after inking the three-year deal.
A great celebration! pic.twitter.com/M7yy4WoFmq
— Terri Parsons (@sadie1532) July 10, 2014
“Extremely humbled! One night of fun and back to work. THANK YOU to everyone who has helped me! I am blessed,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
Parsons, who averaged career-highs of 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game for the Rockets last year, would have earned $964,750 in 2014-15 had Houston picked up a fourth-year team option on his three-year, $2.5 million rookie contract.
Instead, the Rockets chose decline the option while freeing up cap space to pursue big-name free agents such as Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh. As Parsons would remain a restricted free agent, Houston knew it had the opportunity to match any offer he might get from a competing party.
Nevertheless, the term sheet agreed upon by Parsons and Dallas is massive.
Houston can still sign a priority free agent – namely Bosh, who the team offered a four-year, $88 million contract to this week – and match the offer sheet for Parsons but must first sign Bosh before re-signing Parsons. The Rockets will first need to make trades to clear up additional cap space if they have the opportunity to ink Bosh, meaning the team will have a lot to do in a 72-hour span if it hopes to bring both players into the fold.
Based on NBA salaries from the 2013-14 season, Parsons’s average of $15.3 million will make him one of the top-20 highest paid players in the league, whether that salary is eventually paid by the Mavericks or Rockets. He will also receive the largest average salary for a former Gators player in NBA history.
Just last season, Parsons set a Houston team record for most three-pointers in a game when he drained 10 in the second half on the way to a career-high 34 points. He also achieved an NBA record that night for most treys made in one half of a game.
He spent the offseason recruiting center Dwight Howard to the Rockets but now may be headed for greener pastures if Houston decides not to match the massive offer sheet.
Chandler Parsons will make $5 million more than Dirk Nowitzki, who coincidentally, has a standing offer for a max deal with the Rockets.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 9, 2014
— Daniel Morgan (@DmoSwag) July 9, 2014