Houston’s Worst Possible Off-Season Scenario: Fan Favorite Chandler Parsons Is On His Way To Dallas
There was a possibility of this happening, but most us did not expect Daryl Morey and the Rockets to let Parsons walk. If it wasn’t enough of a punch to the gut to see Parsons sign with another team, knowing that the team he will be going to is the dreaded Dallas Mavericks is unbearable to stomach.
It was a surprise when we learned that the Rockets were not going to pick up Parsons’ 4th year option back in June, but understandable once the rationale was understood. Daryl Morey was betting on being able to sign a third star to the Rockets, and then match any qualifying offer Parsons accepted.
For a brief period it seemed as though Morey was going to be able to pull off adding three stars in three consecutive seasons. Bosh slips through the Rockets grasps and opts to choose familiarity in Miami along with more money. A day later Trevor Ariza is signed, and though thoughts of Parsons leaving started to creep in, it was assumed that one or two other small additions would be made, and then Parsons will be matched.
Fast forward two days and the worst thing that the city of Houston could have imagined when the Rockets let Chandler Parsons become an un-restricted free agent came to fruition.
Where Do The Rockets Go From Here
As things now stand the Rockets essentially switched out 25 year old Chandler Parsons for 29 year old Trevor Ariza. With Ariza the Rockets are getting an upgrade athletically and defensively at Small Forward. The Rockets should now be able to better defend the opposing team’s best player from the SG or SF positions. Ariza also brings slightly better 3-point shooting.
Chandler Parsons is virtually better at everything else including creating, ball handling, slashing, and intangibles that you want in a player. Parsons was younger and might have had a little bit more room for growth as a player, it will be a loss but is one that must be tolerated.
Omer Asik was not a big factor in the regular season. Having a back up center of Asik’s quality was a luxury, and having Asik was effective when facing teams that played their big men often. Without Asik who knows how long the playoff series with Portland would have lasted with the way LaMarcus Aldridge was playing. The Rockets must find somebody to fill Asik’s spot on the roster.
Jeremy Lin is a loss of a lesser extent. Lin provided depth and on some nights was very effective providing needed offensive production. But reality is that he was so inconsistent and those nights at times were few and far in between. Lin was also a defensive liability when on the court. Rookie Nick Johnson may eventually step into becoming Lin’s replacement sometime during the season.
The Rockets have yet to address the back up center spot, or a possible solution at the power forward spot. Terrance Jones is heading into his third season, and only second season of getting consistent playing time. Jones played very well for stretches and had several big games. However, many of his best games came against teams that didn’t have formidable power forwards. He also struggled defending strong/skilled big men. The Rockets may have to rely on Jones’ continued growth as a player at the power forward position. He has some post moves and has a decent shot from the perimeter. If he can reach another level or two, which is possible, power forward for the Rockets shouldn’t be as big of a concern.
Daryl Morey took a gamble on possibly being able to construct the best starting lineup in the NBA but has failed on that front for the moment. It is not the first time things have seemed as if they have fallen apart. And fact remains that the Rockets still have two of the NBA’s top 15 players, and Morey knows he must add an actual star to realistically have the Rockets as a legitimate championship contender. Morey did not feel that Parsons could be that third piece.
At one point after the 2012 season the Rockets traded away Kyle Lowry, amnestied Luis Scola, and let Goran Dragic sign with the Suns. The fans questioned and smeared Daryl Morey’s name for months. That October, Morey landed James Harden and 9 months later signed Dwight Howard.
Morey decided not to bring back Parsons because doing so would have restricted the flexibility of being able to make moves for future roster building. We just have to continue to trust Morey’s decision making in trying to build a championship team.