The Houston Rockets aren't strangers to carefully planned free-agent attacks, and according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, declining the team option of Chandler Parsons might be the first step in a long process:
The Houston Rockets plan to decline the fourth-year option on forward Chandler Parsons' contract, freeing him to become a restricted free agent this summer, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Rockets hold a $960,000 option on the fourth and final year of Parsons' contract for the 2014-'15 season, but want to avoid letting Parsons, 25, become an unrestricted free agent next summer. As a restricted free agent in July, the Rockets can match an offer sheet and retain Parsons on a long-term contract.
The Rockets have until June 30 to formally decline the option.
Parsons becoming a restricted free agent increases his trade value quite a bit, and it allows Houston to match any offer sheet he signs in free agency.
Still, the Rockets are running the risk of losing Parsons if the timing doesn't match up. If the Rockets can't acquire a third star like Carmelo Anthony or Kevin Love before Parsons signs an offer sheet in restricted free agency, they may have to choose between signing Parsons long-term and losing some of the ability to add a third star to Dwight Howard and James Harden, or simply letting Parsons go.
Parsons probably won't be a hot commodity if the Rockets manage to line up a deal for Love or Anthony before free agency, as most teams would assume the Rockets would match just about any offer and go into the tax.
If that's the case, here are five teams that would serve as good landing spots for Parsons in free agency.