Former Florida Gators forward Chandler Parsons hoped the Houston Rockets would not match the three-year, $46 million offer sheet handed to him by the Dallas Mavericks last week and eventually got his wish on Sunday.
A source told OnlyGators.com exactly that on Wednesday evening before Parsons signed the offer sheet, which Dallas owner Mark Cuban flew down to deliver to Parsons personally early Thursday morning, and reiterated it Sunday afternoon while the player was waiting on Houston’s decision.
Not only did Parsons believe that the Mavericks were the perfect landing spot for him and a great place to continue his career, he revealed to Yahoo! Sports on Monday that he was not pleased with how the Rockets viewed him as a player and handled the situation.
Instead of valuing Parsons as a rising star and picking up a team option on his contract, one that would have kept him in the fold for $964,750 in 2014-15, Houston let the option expire and allowed him to become a restricted free agent. This after he averaged career-highs of 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game last year
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey made this roster decision specifically to free up salary cap space in order to chase a bigger name, such as Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh, a notion he made quite public.
And while the move resulted in Parsons being able to earn substantially more money a full year sooner than he otherwise would have been eligible, it also told him that Houston did not value him as an important building block for its franchise.
“Honestly, I was offended by the whole process,” he told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports on Monday. “They publicly said that they were going out looking for a third star when I thought they had one right in front of them. I guess that’s just how they viewed me as a player. I don’t think I’ve scratched the surface of where I can be as a player, and I think I’m ready for that role.”
Though Parsons conceded that “you can’t knock them for always trying to get better” and noted that Morey “is very aggressive, is a genius, a great GM,” he explained that he felt he “could be the guy” that served as the third member of the Rockets’ big three (along with James Harden and Dwight Howard).
Dallas stepped up with a huge monetary offer but also made the contract extremely friendly for Parsons, giving him an opt-out after year two and embedding a 15 percent trade kicker into the deal. He will also have the right to approve any trade in the final two years of the contract.
That is where it is obvious that Houston and Dallas view Parsons differently.
Not only did the Rockets choose not to match the deal after missing out on Anthony and Bosh – their right as Parsons was a restricted free agent – Morey told KBME 790 AM in Houston, Texas, on Monday that the contract’s details made it impossible to meet.
“The Mavericks are a smart organization; they obviously wanted to get him,” he said. “The structure of that [contract] is literally one of the most untradeable structures I’ve ever seen.”
Told of Morey’s statement, Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson made it abundantly clear why Dallas put that language in there and had no concerns about it whatsoever.
“We’re not looking to move [Parsons]. We hope he’s here for a long, long time,” Nelson told KESN 103.3 FM out of Dallas, Texas, on Monday. “In terms of the trade-ability, we’ve had some pretty interesting contracts in the past and were able to get off of them. So I don’t think there’s such a thing as an untradeable contract…but that’s clearly not in the spirit of which we’re doing this.”
In his conversation with Yahoo! Sports, Parsons still made sure to thank Houston for selecting him with the No. 38 overall pick in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft.
Parsons, who participated in a Path to the Draft blog for OnlyGators.com leading up to the event, has previously explained that the Rockets treated him like a first-round pick and made sure he knew how much they valued him after selecting him that day.
“They believed in me. They drafted me. I have nothing but love and respect for them. They will have a special place in my heart,” he said. “The fans were unbelievable and I hope they have no hard feelings. I had to do what is best for my career.”