Tuesday evening, Yahoo Sports Adrian Wojnarowski reported that sources close to the Houston Rockets organization revealed the team would not be picking up the fourth-year option on small forward Chandler Parsons. Parsons will become a restricted free agent on June 30th, as Houston continues to try to position themselves to load up on as much top-end talent as they can. It is still possible, and one might say even probable, that the 6’9″ forward out of Florida remains with the Rockets. Due to the restricted nature of Parsons’ free agency, Houston can match any offer made on the former second round pick.
Though as Houston knows, given their acquisition of Jeremy Lin and what it took to land him from the Knicks, teams in their position can only spend so much on a player not considered to be a superstar. When Lin was a restricted free agent and coming off his ‘Linsanity’ season, Houston simply threw too much money at the guard for the cap-strapped Knicks were able to match. As Parsons will most definitely command more than the three-year/$25 million contract given to Lin, Houston could end up having to let him walk to a team willing to potentially overpay for his services.
“Although the Sixers are not ready to compete now, they are in a position to pay Parsons big-time money without really hurting their cap situation.
The Sixers enter this offseason with just $26 million on the books. With the salary cap projected to be around $63.2 million, Hinkie could have as much as $30 million to spend on free agents this summer. In Wojnarowski’s report, he mentions Parsons could demand around $12-$13 million per season. While that is close to half of the Sixers’ money now, the team has potentially $15 million coming off the books after next season when shooting guard Jason Richardson becomes a free agent, and if/when forward Thaddeus Young declines his player option.”
Personally, this move seems like an excellent opportunity to address a major need with a quality talent who could really take his game to another level without playing in the shadow of James Harden and Dwight Howard. As a result of the strategic cap and roster management of Sam Hinkie, the 76ers could even afford to overpay, in some sense, for Parsons to upgrade their young roster in a big way. Parsons is only 25 years old and is coming off a career year where he averaged 16.6 points per game to go along with 4.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists. The long, athletic forward also is a career .370 shooter from three-point range.
Hinkie is familiar with Parsons from his time in Houston and clearly values his skillset, considering he helped scout him out of Florida. Philadelphia is in such a flexible cap situation that they could easily offer on the high-end of Wojnarowski’s projection and still be in a favorable position for years to come. He has played in a high-scoring, uptempo offense like what the 76ers appear to be trending towards. If the 76ers were confident enough they could land Parsons, they could approach the upcoming draft with less of an emphasis towards his abilities. This scenario just seems to be the opportunity for Hinkie to ramp up the aggression and see if he cannot get his old team to submit to the 76ers GM’s heavy hand. Parsons wouldn’t necessarily hinder the team’s emphasis on building the future, given his age, and he can develop himself as more of a primary option while the young talent around him rises at their own rate.