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Adrian Wojnarowski: Atlanta is waiving Chandler Parsons and his expiring $25.1M contract to create roster space to complete four-team trade, league sources tell ESPN.
Now that your contract (and many other big deals that were signed that summer) is coming to an end, are you sort of excited for a new chapter? Chandler Parsons: I am excited. I went from my rookie deal the first three years to a max contract over the last six years. So I’ve had a lot of expectations, a lot of pressure. And I haven’t been the healthiest player in the league. I think just to get on a team next year, on a financial friendly deal, it changes the whole look of you to the fans as well as the media and everything. You see a lot of guys that do that. Dwight Howard on a max deal was awful. Dwight on an interim deal is phenomenal. Someone like Andre Iguodala, when he goes to say, the Lakers for minimum, he’s going to be this huge value and people are going to love him. That’s just how it goes. I have no complaints. I’ve played basketball in the NBA. I set up my future here. I still think there is time to just show I can still play. I just turned 31. It’s still young and, technically, I should be in my prime. I’m not worried about it. I just want to play.
Why Memphis over Portland? Chandler Parsons: It was a very, very tough decision. I have nothing but respect for Portland and what they’re doing, and I think they have a tremendous future. This really just came down to a gut feeling of mine. I felt extremely comfortable with the management and coach [David] Fizdale. We hit it off right away. We had a past relationship with him being my coach in the Rookie-Sophomore game, and I actually randomly saw him in Orlando with my parents and stopped and talked to him for like 30 minutes when he was still with Miami. Just looking at his body of work with what he’s done with wings in the league and his vision for me, it just felt right. It basically came down to me being comfortable and trusting the coaching staff. They made unbelievable points about how my usage rate has been down my entire career. The way he’s going to use me in this offense, I think I can really flourish and be the best player I can be.
Are you disappointed that the Mavericks — and especially Mark Cuban, considering your relationship — didn’t really make much of an effort to keep you? Parsons: It was more shocking. It is a business and I understand that aspect of it. I think the fans of Dallas were great, but they don’t really understand the whole story of everything. If they did, they wouldn’t have negative feelings towards me. Everything I did in Dallas was for the team and for the organization and for the city. Whether that’s recruiting DeAndre Jordan, putting my absolute heart into that, although it didn’t work, that was to make our franchise better and to help us win games. Getting hurt two times, that’s just bad luck. It’s kind of sickening when you see fans write something about your injuries or my knees, like that’s in my control.
Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced that the Grizzlies signed forward Chandler Parsons to a multi-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.
Tim MacMahon: Grizzlies owner after giving out almost $250M in deals today … RT: Robert Pera: pic.twitter.com/nJVwA5Z9Qw
“The worst thing we can do is overpay for mediocrity,” a team source told ESPN, acknowledging that the Mavs need to find a way to hop off the mediocrity treadmill Cuban fears so much, one way or the other. That comment could be perceived as a jab at Parsons, a good guy who ruffled a few feathers in Dallas by considering himself the future face of the franchise after arriving as a post-Melo consolation prize. This certainly wasn’t what the Mavs or Parsons planned when he signed that three-year, $46 million offer sheet while partying with Cuban in an Orlando club two summers ago (the last year had a player option).
Cuban didn’t doubt that Parsons would get paid, but he couldn’t stomach the risk, particularly since the consensus opinion of his advisory committee was that the Mavs should be willing to let Parsons walk.
The Mavs and Parsons never even talked numbers once he took the split second necessary to decide to opt out of his previous deal. And Parsons desperately wanted to stay in Dallas until it was made painfully clear the Mavs didn’t much want him.
Chandler Parsons: I want to thank @mcuban , the entire staff, teammates and fans for everything the past 2 seasons. I love you and wish you the best of luck!
Text message from Chandler Parsons on why he chose the Grizzlies: “I really believed in Coach Fiz. Nobody in the league has coached better wings than him. I trust [assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff] with my life. They have nobody like me, and their veteran, experienced players are a perfect fit with me.
Tim MacMahon: A fun part of the Grizzlies’ pitch to Chandler Parsons: a FaceTime call from Memphis minority owner Justin Timberlake.
Chandler Parsons: Really excited for this opportunity and new chapter with the @memgrizz !! This is a perfect fit for me and I can’t wait to get started!! I want to thank the owner RP for believing in me, Coach Fiz, JB, and everyone else involved!!
Adrian Wojnarowski: Free agent Chandler Parsons is nearing agreement on a four-year, $94M max deal with the Memphis Grizzlies, league sources tell @The Vertical.
Tim MacMahon: Source: Chandler Parsons has agreed to a four-year max deal with the Grizzlies.
Jeff Goodman: Memphis has added Chandler Parsons. Should help keep Mike Conley. Grizzlies could be a factor next season.
Michael Scotto: Chandler Parsons is heading into a meeting with the Memphis Grizzlies now, per league source.
Jason Quick: A person with knowledge of the Blazers’ plans says their intention is to go after both Chandler Parsons and Dwight Howard.
Tim MacMahon: League sources say Mike Conley and Chandler Parsons have had multiple conversations about playing together in Memphis. They never talked about teaming up in Dallas. Parsons, who has ruled out a return to Dallas, will meet with the Grizzlies on Friday in Los Angeles. Conley is scheduled to meet with the Mavs in Dallas.
A source described Chandler Parsons as “really impressed” with Portland’s presentation, which included a four-year max offer and emphasized the Trail Blazers’ vision for him.
Marc Stein: From tonight’s meeting with Portland, Chandler Parsons is scheduled to move to a sitdown later Monday with Memphis, league sources say.
The Vertical: Adrian Wojnarowski: Chandler Parsons meeting with Trail Blazers now in Los Angeles. Four-year max offer.
Mike Richman: Per @Adrian Wojnarowski — Neil Olshey, Terry Stotts, Damian Lillard and Paul Allen meeting with Chandler Parsons right now in LA. Offering 4 year deal, near max.
Howard Beck: Chandler Parsons is eyeing Lakers, Blazers, Grizz and Magic, per league source, and aiming for close to max money. Not going back to DAL.
Forward Chandler Parsons and the Dallas Mavericks will definitely part ways after two seasons together, a source told ESPN. “No chance,” the source said when asked if there was any possibility of Parsons re-signing with the Mavs.
The divorce comes after the Mavs made it clear that they had no intention of offering a maximum contract to Parsons, whose two seasons in Dallas both ended prematurely due to surgeries on his right knee.
Chandler Parsons’ injury-riddled career with the Dallas Mavericks has apparently come to an end. A source said Thursday it is highly unlikely that Parsons will play another game for the Mavs. “He is not a priority of the Mavericks,’’ the source said. “He is so high on himself, but he’s not half of what he thinks he is.’’
The Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers are among suitors for Parsons, sources told ESPN. Chandler Parsons expects to sign a max deal, saying as much during a recent question-and-answer session with fans on Twitter.
Chris Haynes: Portland to meet with Dallas free agent Chandler Parsons in LA on July 1 with Damian Lillard in attendance, sources inform @clevelanddotcom.
Charlotte Hornets small forward Nicolas Batum is expected to meet with the Dallas Mavericks in free agency, a league source told ESPN. The Mavs are exploring options to replace small forward Chandler Parsons, who sources say is expected to leave in free agency with Dallas declining to offer him a maximum contract and prioritizing other targets.
Tim MacMahon: League sources: Lakers are among suitors for Chandler Parsons. ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that the Grizzlies are also pursuing Parsons.
Marc Stein: You can scratch “might.” Sources say Memphis is a confirmed suitor for Chandler Parsons in addition to its top priority: Keeping Mike Conley
Marc Stein: Free Agent Rumble: Memphis not only believes it’ll keep Mike Conley but might try to sign Chandler Parsons away from the Conley-chasing Mavs
Also, someone name Tim Duncan – not the player from the San Antonio Spurs – asked Parsons if he could play him a game of one-on-one for some free gear. “You would lose,’’ Parsons replied. Here are some of the highlights from Parsons’ Q&A with the fans. Q: Do you think you deserve a max contract after those injuries? A: Sure do.
Who else might they target? Everyone has suggested Nic Batum. I wouldn’t be surprised if they try and throw a max deal at Chandler Parsons. But in the end, they’ll likely have to spend wisely on cheaper pieces, players like J.R. Smith, Kent Bazemore, Allen Crabbe, Luol Deng, Eric Gordon, E’Twaun Moore, Jared Dudley, Joe Johnson, Lance Thomas and Wesley Johnson.
One year after serving as the Dallas Mavericks’ unofficial recruiting coordinator, forward Chandler Parsons looks forward to being recruited by other franchises. Parsons eagerly anticipates exploring his options in free agency as the Mavericks plan to prioritize other targets, sources told ESPN, although a return to Dallas remains a possibility. “He’ll be all ears,” one source said.
With the salary cap spiking to a projected $94 million, giving the majority of NBA teams the salary-cap space to sign a free agent to a maximum deal, sources say Parsons’ camp remains confident that he will command a max contract with a starting annual salary of $22 million.
The Mavs, according to sources, remain interested in keeping Parsons if they aren’t able to persuade Conley and/or Whiteside to come to Dallas. However, the Mavs have made it clear to Parsons that they do not intend to offer him a max contract to keep him after his first two seasons in Dallas ended prematurely because of surgeries on his right knee. A max contract for Parsons with the Mavs, who own his early Bird rights, would be worth $98.4 million over four years. Other teams can offer him $94.1 million over four years.
Sources say multiple renowned orthopedic specialists have given Parsons clearance to resume full basketball activities and expressed optimism that his knee would not prevent him from having a long, productive NBA career. Parsons averaged 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 61 games last seasons, statistics skewed by a slow start as he dealt with strict minutes restrictions.
The Mavs see Justin Anderson as a potential starter at small forward if Parsons leaves, according to team sources. Anderson, the 21st overall pick in last year’s draft, played sparingly for most of his rookie season but showed promise as a high-energy role player when Parsons’ late-season absence pushed him into a larger role.
Jeff Cavanaugh: Skin Wade (@SkinWade) just said the Mavs won’t offer Chandler Parsons a max contract. #Blessed
The Magic’s strategy, a source told Sporting News recently, will involve luring former Florida Gators back to Central Florida. That means former Gator champs Joakim Noah and Al Horford, but also includes Mavericks small forward Chandler Parsons, who will be a free agent this summer, too.
Tim MacMahon: Chandler Parsons will follow through on his plans to become a free agent despite Mavs owner Mark Cuban’s attempts to convince Parsons to opt in for the final season of his three-year, $46 million contract, sources told ESPN.com. With the salary cap spiking to a projected $94 million this summer, Parsons’ camp expects him to receive a significant raise in free agency.
Dwain Price: It’s not official yet, but Chandler Parsons and Deron Williams will opt-out of their contract and take advantage of the increase of the NBA salary cap. If Parsons and Williams doesn’t reveal by 11 p.m. Wednesday if they’ll opt-out of their contract, they’ll automatically become a free agent. By NBA rule, Chandler Parsons and Deron Williams doesn’t have to notify the Mavs if they plan on opting out of their contract.
Dwain Price: Parsons said he will try and get Dwight Howard to come here after he (Parsons) re-signs with the #Mavs. He said Howard is leaving Houston.
Chandler Parsons on if he wants to return to Dallas for next season: I do. I love it here. My focus right now is to be healthy. The city has been great. I can see myself staying here and playing for a long time.
“I wouldn’t count (Houston) out. Obviously, playing there three years, I had a great time there. We had a lot of success. It will be interesting to see what they do with the head coaching job. I would love J.B. (Bickerstaff) to get that job. I wouldn’t count out that option.”
Speaking of next season, the world’s worst-kept secret is that you’re opting out of your contract this summer. Will you be back in Dallas? Parsons: That’s something that we’ve got to figure out. Obviously, I’ve been extremely happy here, and I think I’ve made it very vocal that I love Dallas. I love the organization. Everything I did last summer with the free agency and the recruiting efforts is something I really enjoy doing. It’s something that I feel like I’m pretty good at doing. I have a great relationship with Coach Carlisle and Dirk [Nowitzki] and my teammates here. Cuban’s obviously my guy, and I wouldn’t want to play for anybody else. I feel like he’s the best owner in the NBA.
Parsons: Free agency is a fun time, and obviously I have the opportunity here to opt out. That’s not necessarily to leave Dallas. That’s maybe to sign a longer-term deal here. There’s a lot of options, and that’s something me and my agent Dan [Fegan] will talk about when it’s more appropriate and that time comes.
Sources said Parsons is still likely to exercise his right this summer to opt out of the final season of his three-year, $46 million deal. He is expected to receive maximum-contract offers in free agency, with sources considering the Mavs the front-runners to keep him.
With Kobe Bryant retiring at the end of this season, the Lakers will need to find a replacement. In this upcoming free agency, there are limited options at the small forward position as there is a drop off in talent after Durant. With the possibility of Parsons opting out of his contract with the Mavericks, Harrison Barnes (restricted free agent) and Nicolas Batum are two names the Lakers are expected to pursue as well.
Those close to the situation consider his hometown Magic to be the biggest threat to steal Parsons from the Mavs. With its pre-deadline dealing, Orlando cleared enough cap space to sign two players to max contracts. Sources anticipate that the Magic will aggressively pursue Parsons.
The list of teams interested in Parsons will be long, with sources expecting the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets and Magic to be among Parsons’ suitors. If Durant leaves Oklahoma City, add the Thunder to the list, with a potential reunion with Parsons’ coach at Florida, Billy Donovan.
Parsons’ decision will come down to comfort and the best opportunity to reach his potential — not dollars — according to sources familiar with his thinking.
However, Parsons and his inner circle have expressed concerns about whether Carlisle has confidence that Parsons can be a franchise player and is willing to give him the freedoms and responsibilities players of that ilk typically receive. Those doubts are fueled in part by occasional crunch-time benchings this season, even after Parsons, who averaged 18.8 points on 52.3 percent shooting from the floor in February, returned to form following a difficult rehab from major knee surgery.
“My focus right now is solely on finishing this season as strong as possible with the Mavericks,” Parsons said. “It’d be selfish of me and a disservice to this franchise and to my teammates to be thinking about this summer when we have a chance to do something special. We’ll have plenty of time to think about business this summer. It’s basketball season now.”
There is no question about how the man who pays their salaries feels about the matter. Mavs owner Mark Cuban, who locked up Carlisle to a five-year contract extension that Parsons lobbied for this fall, makes it clear that he plans to build around Parsons for the foreseeable future.
“What I see 100 percent is we’re going to keep those guys together for a long, long time,” Cuban told ESPN.com this week. “When they’re both 100 percent and have all their explosiveness, that’s a crushing tandem on the wing and we’ll fill in around them.”
It would be a touching, tough-love relationship, but there’s one potential problem: Parsons and some members of his inner circle wonder whether Carlisle likes the player nearly as much as the person.
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January 27, 2021 | 8:36 pm EST Update
“I see why there’s a comparison. Obviously, LeBron is one of the greatest to ever do it and Ben has the potential given the size, ability, and speed, but it’s unfair. It’s unfair to compare anybody to LeBron or compare anybody to Michael Jordan, especially at a young age.”
Attempts to grow closer as a team are confronting a world in which proximity to teammates is both dangerous and prohibited. As a result, NBA players and staffs have been reduced to distant conversations through face masks, and a road life dominated by individual screens rather than collective camaraderie. “The reality is that you can’t do stuff like that anymore,” Haslem said. “Those opportunities don’t exist.” In Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner’s words: “It’s a bubble within a bubble.”
STARTING AN AVERAGE day on the road, an NBA player must now wake up as early as 7:30 a.m. to be tested before a practice or shootaround, depending on the market. He then returns to his room to catch another hour or so of sleep, or to busy himself with a video game, an episode of a series or maybe a FaceTime session with family back home. A couple of hours later, he reports downstairs to board the team bus. The wait in the lobby is traditionally a time when players schmooze and hang out, but with everyone at least 6 feet apart and masked, the vibe has taken on an edgy quality.
Pre-practice strategy sessions at the hotel can no longer last more than 10 minutes. Shootaround or practice offer some normalcy, but breakfast back at the hotel in a ballroom, typically a communal ritual where players and staff yuck it up at tables for eight, now operates as a grab-and-go. Want some fresh air? Forget about taking a walk outside, even though the CDC and other leading medical institutions regard outdoor activities with the appropriate precautions as low risk.
Back in the hotel room, the walls close in for players. More video games and binge watching. Myles Turner has delved into Narcos and has been playing Cyberpunk 2077, while Sacramento Kings guard Cory Joseph recently watched the Tony Parker documentary on Netflix. “I don’t think locking up in a room for 24 hours just coming out to play basketball is mentally healthy,” Haslem said. “I need to go out and take a walk because there are things that can pile up that have nothing to do with the game of basketball. And you’re saying that I can’t even go take a walk? I don’t think that’s right. Even in the bubble, you can go take a walk and get some fresh air.”
This season, that ground rarely extends much past the door to a hotel room. The Spurs’ custom on the plane has been effectively prohibited. Under the new guidelines, players must sit next to the same guys they sit next to on the bench during games. On an off night, it’s dinners for one in the room — a far cry from the jovial dining out experience in a road city. “I think that’s hard — having options taken away,” Holiday said. “You might go to your favorite city, and have a favorite food spot that people might not know about. And that’s something that you can bring to the table, something you share, and [this season] you can’t really share that.”