Storyline: Chandler Parsons Injury

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Parsons finished up morning shootaround ahead of Saturday’s game against the Boston Celtics, the 32nd game in a row he won’t play in, and decided to speak for the first time about the off-court drama that’s preventing him from making a return. “The most confusing part for me is I’m healthy,” Parsons told The Commercial Appeal. “I’m medically cleared by the people I work with every single day, that are experts at this kind of stuff, so it’s frustrating to watch a team struggle and I’m sitting there on the bench healthy, dying to play.”

“It’s just been a very unorganized schedule and still, to this day, there’s no set plan of when I’m going to return to play or anything like that,” Parsons said before elaborating on why he’s so frustrated by the situation. “No communication. No nothing. I don’t think it’s from a basketball standpoint. It’s definitely not from a health standpoint. I’ve been cleared by the medical staff of our organization, and clearly it’s not about fitting. I already earned a starting spot out of training camp and have shown I can fit with the team. I think the confusion for me is there’s no communication about what’s going on and when I’m going to play.”

With Parsons, the terminology is a change after “knee soreness” and “back soreness” were the official reasons why he missed games through four through 31 this season. The change in wording comes as Parsons continues a robust workout regimen along with second-year wing Dillon Brooks, who is expected to return from a grade II MCL sprain by the end of the month. A Grizzlies offense that has scored more than 100 points just once in its last 10 games is in desperate need of an offensive boost.

Chandler Parsons, who addressed his status for the first time in two weeks, confirmed he had his knee checked out by specialists during the team’s recent west coast trip and results showed no structural damage. He’s spent the past several days working to reduce swelling and soreness in the right knee, which has twice been surgically repaired. “My knee is feeling much better than it has been, so we keep doing a little more and more in practice to hopefully get back into a game soon,” said Parsons, who experienced swelling after he played in a Dec. 27 road win against the Lakers. “That’s the weirdest thing (because) I don’t remember getting hit. It wasn’t like an instance where I got hit or fell or got kneed. So I just took it slow, got it checked out, checked off the boxes and nothing was wrong. So I’ll just continue to strengthen it and do all the proper steps forward.”
2 years ago via ESPN

A silver lining to Parsons’ latest knee surgery, the scope of his left knee: He’d have plenty of time in the offseason to work on his frame and his game, luxuries he didn’t have the past two summers when he had to focus solely on rehabbing from more serious surgeries on his right knee. “I dedicated my entire summer to my body,” Parsons says. “I can’t even really compare it to last year because it’s night and day how my body feels, the kind of shape I’m in. I’m lean. I’m playing 5-on-5, one-on-one, 2-on-2, 3-on-3. Working out five times a week. I’m doing stuff now that basically I couldn’t even do throughout the season last year. It’s completely different.”

Of course, Parsons made things worse by continuing with his life-of-the-party social media presence — including his much-chronicled All-Star jaunt to #Chancun — which gave some the impression that he wasn’t sufficiently bothered by his inability to live up to his big deal. “I did a poor job comprehending it and I was frustrated and I was cold and I was angry last year,” Parsons said. “As an athlete, as a competitor, you want to do great, you want to do special things out there, and I straight up didn’t do that last year.”

But it’s Vince Carter who may have the best handle on this. He played with Parsons in Dallas, and has been Parsons’ closest supporter on the team. “The most important thing for Chandler now, in my opinion, is getting Chandler right, whatever that means,” Carter said. “It’s not just his body, it’s his mind. The mental, when that’s broken, when that’s beat down and needs to be fixed, that’s just as bad as a knee or ankle. While he’s trying to rehab all his injuries, this is the most important thing for him. If he comes back as a confident player, everything else will take care of itself.”

Chandler Parsons done for the season

Michael Wallace: Can confirm Grizzlies small forward Chandler Parsons having meniscectomy procedure on left knee Monday, and will miss rest of season. It’ll be 3rd knee procedure for Parsons in as many years. Monday’s meniscus repair comes almost on anniversary of 3/25/16 repair of R knee. Parsons averaged 6.2 points and 2.5 rebounds in 34 games this season as he pushed through recovery challenges from issues with both knees.

Unprompted, Fizdale took a jab at Parsons critics during the middle of his post-game media scrum. Parsons might require surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee, and the Grizzlies won their last two games without Parsons after losing five straight. “Slowly but surely it’s coming along,” Fizdale said with a smirk before adding: “Personally, I blame Chandler for everything that went wrong. I’m kidding because I know people are going to say crap like that.”

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Hawks an option for Montrezl Harrell?

If the Clippers don’t believe they can win with a 6’7″ center, especially one hoping for what is believed to be a $20 million-per-season payday, then they risk losing Harrell as a free agent. (Multiple executives believe the Atlanta Hawks could be a summer destination.) Los Angeles would have his rights and the ability to sign-and-trade him to another team, but that’s a move entirely dependent on Harrell’s participation.
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Another possibility for Harkless and considerations, one NBA source suggested, could be Thaddeus Young of the Chicago Bulls, who has $34.6 million of his $40.6 million guaranteed through the 2021-22 season. “They could go after Drummond, but if they’re sending out Zubac, Harkless and filler [like Rodney McGruder], they still have the issue that they’re not going to play Drummond with Harrell,” the Eastern Conference executive said.

Clippers eyeing Aron Baynes?

“They take up the same space on the court. The Clippers simply don’t play them together,” the Eastern Conference executive said. “Montrezl is getting 29 minutes a game, so even if the Clippers added on another center, where would those minutes come? They would need a floor-spacer.” In part, that’s why the Clippers have had their eye on Aron Baynes of the Phoenix Suns (17-24), though they are still looking to make a playoff push, just two games behind the eighth-place Memphis Grizzlies (20-22). Baynes is a strong, experienced defender who can space the floor. Giving up Zubac for Baynes could make sense if the Clippers reinvest in Harrell, but would the Suns have any interest in Zubac’s four-year, $28.5 million deal as a backup for Deandre Ayton?
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I don’t have any data to immediately quantify this, but I can say with certainty that LeBron has never spoken less frequently to reporters than he has this season. I’m going to leave last year to the side because he missed a career-high 27 games. He’s healthy this season, just not nearly as available. I’m not criticizing him for this, it’s simply true. Between the Lakers’ lack of practices and shootarounds, and LeBron’s being more willing to share the spotlight with veteran teammates, we’re just hearing less from him on a daily basis than ever before.
When the Hornets head to France next week, there will be a familiar face awaiting their arrival. As in the one who wore the No. 9 in purple and teal last season. Tony Parker is expected to be at some of the festivities, soaking up the retired life. Other than native Frenchman Nic Batum, there probably will not be anyone more thrilled to give Parker a bear hug than Willy Hernangomez. The two became tight during Parker’s 10 months in Charlotte. Hernangomez was almost like a little brother to Parker and they still communicate frequently.
“He helped me out a lot,” Hernangomez said. “Honestly, hanging with Tony on and off the court is always unbelievable. He’s always given me good advice. Even right now we are pretty close. Almost every two weeks we are in touch to see how the situation is and how he can help me. I’m looking forward to seeing him in Paris. He’s a really close friend of mine. It’s a really good thing that happened to me last year. A legend in Europe, a legend in the NBA. We really enjoyed playing together and I missed him this year. And hopefully, I can see him and spend time with him.”
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