Former Dallas Mavericks player, Chandler Parsons, taught the franchise a valuable lesson. Mark Cuban would be wise to keep it in mind as he builds a contender.
Not too long ago, Chandler Parsons represented the hope and future of the Dallas Mavericks organization. No, he was never the shining star Luka Doncic is today, or even the budding talent that Dennis Smith Jr is. But on a 2014 team of has-beens, Parsons was an exciting up-and-comer who sold the hope for the future.
It was the summer of 2014 when Mark Cuban gave restricted free agent, Chandler Parsons, a mammoth $46.1 million offer to leave the Houston Rockets and join the Dallas Mavericks. What followed was a series of ups and downs that created more questions than answers regarding the direct and next steps of the Dallas franchise.
After averaging 14.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game in his two seasons in Dallas, many expected the Mavs to put a max offer on the table. But repeat knee injuries scared the Dallas Mavericks away, opting to invest in Harrison Barnes instead, and letting Parsons leave to a competitor without even making an offer.
It was this sequence of events that changed the fortunes of both franchises. Notably the Memphis franchise and unquestionably changed it for the worse.
Memphis signed Parsons to a max, four-year $96 million contract the summer of 2016. Parsons would reward them with only playing a combined 70 games over the next two seasons. This year he’s only played three games and according to reports, he’s no longer considered part of the team and his contract is officially for sale.
It turns out the knee situation that scared the Mavs away, even when they were at their most desperate, was a legitimate concern after all, And sometimes the wise move, is the move you DON’T make.
The Move You Don’t Make
Given the NBA’s salary cap system, bad contracts can cripple a franchise. And Chandler Parson’s contract was just named the worst in NBA history. He’s almost singlehandedly sunk the Memphis franchise and is still on the books for another 1.5 seasons.
Now, even if the Dallas Mavericks signed Parsons instead of Barnes, they’d likely be in about the same spot where they are today. They just haven’t had the same postseason hopes that Memphis had. But this still serves as a lesson – not all fits are good fits and sometimes it’s the moves you don’t make that make the difference.
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Once upon a time, the Mavs offered Nerlens Noel a contract north of $70 million. Noel foolishly rejected the offer, cluelessly looking for more, and the $70 million vanished. As we all know, the Dallas Mavericks dodged a significant bullet there, as Noel would redefine what underachieving means.
In the Chandler Parsons situation, the Mavs played it wisely. In the Nerlens Noel situation, they just got lucky.
So when the time came for DeAndre Jordan to join the team he came on a one-year trial basis. Now this has more to do with his wishes as it does the Mavs’, but the one-year deal serves both parties well. Since Dallas gets to see his impact before they commit the future of the franchise, they avoid making a crippling mistake by committing ¼ of the payroll on a singular player over the next four years.
There’s a lot of lessons to be learned here.
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