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Years Experience: 3
2013-14 Stats: 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.2 steals, 47.2 percent shooting, 15.9 PER
Things are about to get weird in Houston.
Letting Chandler Parsons hit the semi-open market isn't something the Houston Rockets had to do. They could have picked up his team option worth under $1 million and moved on. But restricted free agency ensures Parsons will receive a well-deserved raise.
We're just not entirely sure it will come from the Rockets.
General manager Daryl Morey and friends are going superstar-hunting this summer, according to Bleacher Report's Howard Beck. Their vision, as of now, has them signing a third superstar to place alongside James Harden and Dwight Howard while retaining Parsons.
Part of this grand scheme demands patience on Parsons' behalf. If he doesn't wait to sign an offer sheet, his cap hit will skyrocket, as the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen details:
Parsons will go from the $964,750 he was scheduled to make to a contract that could start at more than $10 million. (For comparison sake, Portland’s Nicolas Batum signed a four-year $46 million offer sheet that the Trail Blazers matched when he was a restricted free agent.)
As someone who, like Feigen notes, helped recruit Howard, chances are Parsons will be a team player and wait it out until the Rockets know what their free-agent situation looks like.
Then again, the Rockets could decide to use him as bait for another superstar, as Spears reports:
The Minnesota Timberwolves are still interested in acquiring Thompson in a blockbuster trade that would send All-Star forward Kevin Love to the Warriors, a source said. But the T’wolves also have secondary interest in Parsons, the source said. If the Thompson trade doesn’t happen, the source said Minnesota could attempt a deal sending Love to the Rockets and acquire Parsons in a sign-and-trade.
Gun to the head, back against the wall, lighter to the gasoline-soaked foot, we have to bank on Parsons' return to Houston. But we're at a point where his departure cannot be ruled out.
His restricted free agency guarantees him a raise.
It could also give him a new home.
*Salary information via ShamSports. Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.