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Chandler Parsons ‘offended’ by Rockets’ approach to free agency

Jul 15, 2014, 12:11 PM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets Getty Images

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey deserves plenty of credit for trading for James Harden and signing Dwight Howard. Recognizing a star-to-be (Harden) is not easy, and luring an establish star (Howard) might be even more difficult.

But Morey was never satisfied – not in an era the Celtics won a championship with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen and the Heat took the big-three concept to the next level with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Morey in January, via Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated:

“We feel very comfortable that our two top players are what we need to be a championship team,” said Morey. “And we do need someone to step into that third role. We don’t have our third-best player on a championship team yet, and we need one of younger guys to develop into that — or potentially make an addition, whether it be this year or in free agency this offseason.”

Could Parsons be that player? “He’s definitely got the ability to be the third-best player on a championship team,” said Morey. “He’s played like that many times. The tough transition is whether you bring that level every night.”

But Morey didn’t treat Parsons like that third star this summer, declining his team option and letting him leave as a restricted free agent when the Mavericks made a big offer as Houston concentrated on failed bids for LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh

Parsons, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

“Honestly, I was offended by the whole process,” Parsons told Yahoo Sports on Monday in a phone interview. “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.

“You can’t knock them for always trying to get better. [Houston general manager] Daryl Morey is very aggressive, is a genius, a great GM and I have nothing but respect for those guys. And they are looking to make their team better. That’s what they were doing. I just thought I could be that guy that could do that.”

The Rockets could have – and should have – exercised Parsons’ team option and paid him $964,750 next season.

Instead, he’ll make $14,700,000 next season and $46,084,500 over the next three years.

Houston did him a HUGE favor by treating him like this. If that offends Parsons, who is definitely not a star (though is close enough and young enough at 25 to get there), so be it.

More than being offended, he should really write Morey a thank-you note.

  1. yesser12 - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    He should be considering he is one of the main reasons Dwight signed.

    • 4thquartermagic - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      Yeah he was up-and-coming when Dwight signed. Whether or not he lives up to his new deal is irrelevant to the fact that he was a very good player for Houston.

      • therealhtj - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:29 PM

        He’s a slightly above average (literally a 15.9 per) player. What it’s looking like is if you’re coming off your rookie deal, and look like you’ll be a decent rotation player, some moron GM gives you a max deal.

        I was pretty offended by how they handled his contract too. Shoulda just exercised his option and figured it out next year.

        The only differences between him and Lance is Lance is a headcase.

    • nbascreed - Jul 15, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      He got thoroughly outplayed by Nicky Batum who is a good but not great 3. I’m not sure why he thinks he’s a star. At 32 Ray Allen was head and shoulders above Parsons as a “3rd Star”. Some perspective is needed Chandler.

      Just one time I’d like to hear one of these guys admit their deficiencies…admit they’re not where they want to be and then outline their plan for getting better and the steps they need to take to get to star level. My goodness. Where’s the dedication.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:30 PM

        I don’t think Parsons is a star nor will he be, but he could easily be the third best player on a championship team. The 2000 Lakers won 67 games and a championship with a 32 year old Glen Rice as their third best player… averaging very similar stats to Parsons.

      • spthegr8 - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:35 PM

        @Asim
        Good point but, that team also had Shaq and Kobe. A lot of guy’s could have been the 3rd wheel on that team. IJS!!

    • spthegr8 - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      Morey dropped the ball on this one. Parsons can ball and he is only gonna get better.

      • scoochpooch - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:47 PM

        Doubtful

      • bkbell3 - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:17 PM

        scoochpooch, Doubtful a what, 23 year old 6’10” guy who handles the ball like a 2 guard and can pass,post,shoot the 3 and hit pull up jumpers and rebound and defend some can’t improve on that considerable up side? You’re lost my man.

  2. cgallegos92 - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Shows what kind of guy he is.. He’s no where worth anything close to 15 mil. He should be thankful, not complaining !!

    • rexgrossman8 - Jul 15, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      I understand where you coming from. He is Dwight’s buddy; Key contributor for D-Ho being a Rocket, helping Morey look like a genius, numbers on the rise, etc.

      At the end of day, emotional attachments aside, if someone is committing a guaranteed 8 figures over 3 years there’s really no reason to be offended or be negative about. If there is ill will keep it behind closed doors.

      I’d hope and think Parsons will bust his tail and let his work results prove the Rockets wrong; Become a bonafide 2 or 3 and then get another sweet deal, maybe from the Rockets, when this contract terms out. If it doesn’t break that way, then it’s spun like a shrewd move by Morey.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:26 PM

      Seriously? You’re the one complaining like a little b****. He’s just explaining part of his experience and showing some confidence in himself. You need to stop pretending like you know all about somebody based on a couple comments.

  3. chris3141084 - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    Is this the biggest jump in salary ever? How does he compare to the Monte Ellis contract.

    • florida727 - Jul 15, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      Monta Ellis went from $770K to $11M each year for the next 5 years. Then he made $8M last year.

      There’s a really good website, basketball-reference.com, where you can find any statistical information about any player, past or present. At the bottom of a player’s page is their salary history.

  4. mortalkondek - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    “…they were going out looking for a third star when I thought they had one right in front of them.” Weren’t they looking at Melo? Sorry, kid, but you just aren’t there yet.

  5. spyder9669 - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    He’s not complaining you morons. He said he was offended. There is a huge and obvious difference.

    • spursareold - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:47 PM

      When you “offended”, and you air it very publicly in ther media, you ARE in fact complaining.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 15, 2014 at 1:22 PM

        he simply said he was hurt, or offended, that they didn’t think he was or could be their 3rd star. like 99
        % of all pro athletes, he believes in himself and he was stung to find out that the team he had played for did not think he could be their 3rd star.

        he could have complained about that, instead he simply chose to say it stung him, hurt him, that he was offended to not be thought of as their 3rd star…

        and then he said the following”

        “You can’t knock them for always trying to get better. [Houston general manager] Daryl Morey is very aggressive, is a genius, a great GM and I have nothing but respect for those guys. And they are looking to make their team better. That’s what they were doing. I just thought I could be that guy that could do that.”

    • patsmiley - Jul 15, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      Rocket fans should be the ones “offended” they didn’t keep him for just 1 mil.

  6. k3nn3k - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    If I were Morey and saw pictures of you and Cuban in a club celebrating your contract signing just to screw Houston over…and then you expected me to match that…I wouldn’t have matched your offer either and let you walk.

    • paleihe - Jul 15, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      He didn’t do it “just to screw Houston over.”

      He did it because he got a 13 million jump in annual salary. If you or I win a 13 million dollar lottery, we’d be celebrating it also.

  7. SBoy - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    I see both sides with this… Forget the money for a second.. I get being offended when a team doesn’t thinks it can win a championship if you are its third best player… However, I would gladly be offended and get a close to a 14 million dollar raise!

  8. Hard On For Harden - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    “The Rockets could have – and should have – exercised Parsons’ team option and paid him $964,750 next season.”

    All of your sports writers/bloggers would form an All Star team of Captain Hindsights. That’d be really great for Chandler if he brings it more consistently and becomes a third star caliber player, but I don’t see it. Want more hindsight? They should have moved hell and earth to make a package around Parsons to ship to Boston at the deadline for Rondo. But coming into this summer, if you thought you had a 50% chance of landing Melo or Bosh, this was the move to make. You would have obviously just lost Parsons next season anyway as an UFA, and Lin/Asik were also gone regardless. A step back this year, but hope and flexibility for the years after.

    • Hard On For Harden - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:46 PM

      And Morey haters, here’s some ammo that actually has substance you can use. He just signed Joey Dorsey from Europe for some odd reason. If this is Asik’s replacement, not going to cut it. This is the same Joey Dorsey that Morey traded Nic Batum in a three way deal for along with Donte Greene in the 08 draft. Lame.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:38 PM

        Another great move by the genius Morey.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      It doesn’t take Hindsight to recognize they should have kept Parsons at $1 million. It takes common sense. You have a quality starter that is on a minimal contract, you don’t just give it up.

      • Hard On For Harden - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:39 PM

        Yes, you totally let him become a UFA in one year and bring back the same team that went out in the first round to Portland when Bosh and Melo are free agents. Makes total sense.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:00 PM

        Or perhaps you find other ways to clear cap space than your $1 million starting SF that scored 16 PPG on 47% shooting.

  9. antistratfordian - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    This guy is so self absorbed and vain. That’s saying something, coming from me.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      What should he have said when he was asked this? They were completely right, I have no potential to ever become a star, and I’m not worth what I’m being paid?

      • antistratfordian - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        What should he have said? Are you really asking that? The answer to that is simple. You say that’s all in the past now – it’s history – you thank Houston for the opportunity, wish them luck, say you’re looking forward to helping Dirk win another ring in Dallas. Done and done. Whining about not being treated like a star is unnecessary.

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:49 PM

        Then everyone complains about how he just gave a canned answer.

        I feel bad for these athletes sometimes. They say what they truly feel, or give an honest answer, and everyone jumps on them for “complaining”. They give a “PC” answer everyone complains about how no one actually answers or shares their thoughts.

      • borderline1988 - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:11 PM

        “I’m not worth what I’m being paid”

        He was being paid $900k/year. That salary jumped to $14 million because Cuban wanted to screw over Houston. Is he worth $46m over 3 years? No he isn’t.

        Dallas overpaid, and Houston wasn’t willing to overpay. The blogger is exactly right…Parsons should be ecstatic that Houston gave him the opportunity to increase his salary by a factor of 14. If he really wanted to stick around with Houston, he shouldn’t have signed Dallas’ offer and then asked Houston to pay what he’s actually worth (say $10mil per year).

  10. tigeralum2010 - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Welcome to the real life world of business, Chandler. 99% of people don’t get paid 8 figures to play basketball, quit b!tching.

  11. loungefly74 - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    It’s been proven you do not need 3 major stars to contend. I still like the formula of 2 big stars with several valuable role players. I dont blame the Rocket’s GM at all. $15 mil is too much for Parsons…who should be thanking his lucky stars for that deal.

  12. metalhead65 - Jul 15, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    I don’t think he is complaining about his contract just the fact he thought he was good enough to be final piece of the puzzle for the rockets and they didn’t. the fact they didn’t bother to negotiate with him left a bad taste in his mouth and should have. he may never live up to his new contract but the rockets have given him more motivation to be the best player he can.

  13. djshnooks - Jul 15, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    That’s why basketball is a joke.

    Chandler Parsons, not even the 3rd best player on his team, let alone the league, will make $14 million next year.

    Meanwhile Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, 2 of the best hockey players in the world, real legit champions…will make $10 million playing in a more physical game.

    This is the f’d up world we live in.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jul 15, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      It probably has something to do with hockey not being a major draw?

    • ProBasketballPundit - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:39 PM

      Something tells me you are an entitled person who resents every part of your own life. You also spend too much time comparison yourself and others and think, “Why should THEY make all this money and not ME?!” Well… the answer is in the question, buddy.

  14. jsala02 - Jul 15, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    “Houston did him a HUGE favor by treating him like this. If that offends Parsons, who is definitely not a star”
    This! I was offended by his play in the Portland series. but wanted him back. Ill gladly take Ariza at half his salary. Morey always said his intention was to match after he brought in a 3rd superstar with CP as the fourth, so I don’t know how he gets offended by that.

  15. azarkhan - Jul 15, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    I think Parsons is going to make the Rockets regret they let him walk. And to think they could have had him for a measly $964,750.

  16. zoomy123 - Jul 15, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    You can definitely win with Chandler Parsons as the 3rd best player on the team. The problem is Dwight Howard and James Harden can’t win with Chandler Parsons being the 3rd best player on the team. Big difference. Harden doesn’t play defense and Howard is a goof ball. If you took Parsons + LBJ & Chris Paul and gave them the Heat’s 2013 bench…that’s a championship team.

  17. twinfan24 - Jul 15, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Are Parsons and Sprewell the only people to ever have been offended by tens of millions of dollars? At least Parsons is “forced” to take his money instead of sitting home for nothing like Sprewell.

  18. jvw1982 - Jul 15, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    Lets see, he is upset because the Rockets didn’t hold him for 900 grand next yr instead they let him sign with a championship caliber team for 15 million next yr and two yrs after that and he feels offended…

    someone needs to offended me like that

  19. iloveopenbar - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    i understand where he’s coming from. i’d find it offensive too if i ended up getting a 1500% raise. its an outrage!!

  20. pike573 - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    Didn’t this site say that the Rockets were correct in not exercising that option?

  21. 8to80texansblog - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    Parsons is a good player and a burgeoning star. Morey’s intent the whole time was to sign Bosh, then match Parson’s offer sheet to take advantage of the Bird Rule exception. When Bosh reneged it left Morey and the Rockets in a precarious position. The only reason we would have done that deal with Parsons is because it would essentially not count towards the cap.

    It’s a game that Parson’s has to understand that Morey was playing. Morey had pocket Aces but Riley hit runner runner to win the pot on the river. It was nothing personal.

  22. rajbais - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    Me too. They think your removal helps them win a title??

    Morey runs the team. It’s an early exiting from the playoffs team.

  23. campcouch - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:45 AM

    Two quotes from Morey~

    January 2014: “We feel very comfortable that our two top players are what we need to be a championship team,” said Morey. “And we do need someone to step into that third role. We don’t have our third-best player on a championship team yet, and we need one of younger guys to develop into that — or potentially make an addition, whether it be this year or in free agency this offseason.”

    Could Parsons be that player? “He’s definitely got the ability to be the third-best player on a championship team,” said Morey. “He’s played like that many times. The tough transition is whether you bring that level every night.”

    July 2014: “It takes three, at least, three elite players with very little exception, throughout history, it takes three elite players and a good set of players that fit around them. Once Bosh said ‘no’ it put us into another very difficult decision of, is matching Chandler Parsons, do we have a better chance of winning a title by matching it or not matching it. That comes down to a very simple question, is Harden, Howard, Parsons a three that can be a championship three? I actually think it can be. I think Chandler is a great player, getting better. Really really good player, no doubt. But the question is actually: is Harden Howard Parson, is that three a better championship odds than Harden, Howard and the team we can put together with a guaranteed lottery pick trade exceptions mid-level young team improving and continuing to be flexible? That was the very tough decision before us. But I can tell you this, in our opinion it was not close.”

    “We are in a better [place] to win a championship by not matching it, once Bosh goes away than by not matching it.”

    So I gathered that he never thought Parsons was worth much anyways. CP may have not gotten to stay in Houston but he did get paid and Morey got rid of a player he didn’t believe in but praised while still part of the team.

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