Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey has never been afraid to make shock waves throughout the NBA, no matter who it involves. Now it looks like Daryl is up to his old tricks again.
Fan favorite of the Houston Rockets, Chandler Parsons, has been arguably the most valuable Rocket under Morey’s watch considering his level of play and how it correlated with his rookie contract. Now, according to reports, Parsons may not be known as the league’s best bargain player starting next season.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets plan to decline Parsons fourth-year option on his rookie contract.
Yahoo Sources: Rockets plan to decline Chandler Parsons’ option, freeing him to become a restricted free agent. http://t.co/vlPqxtI9iG
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 4, 2014
But, as of now according to Jonathan Feigen via HoopsRumors, the Rockets have yet to decide on their final course of action.
— Hoops Rumors (@HoopsRumors) June 4, 2014
What is Daryl Morey’s plan now following the this tidbit of surprising news? Why would the Rockets possibly take this course of action for a third superstar to potentially join the team?
First, it means financial flexibility for a third superstar to join the Rockets. By freeing up as much salary as possible the Rockets would, theoretically, possess enough cap space to lock up the final piece of their own big three. Parsons has a salary for 2014-2015 of $964,750, but only if his option is picked up. However, if Rockets GM Daryl Morey wants a third superstar then that means having enough room underneath the cap to make it happen. There could be more cuts and trades to make this a reality later this month.
Which leads to the matter of Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin’s contracts. Each are owed approximately around $15 million, but only count $8,374,646 each against the salary cap for next season. There is also a difference in trading players in the off-season versus at the trade deadline in February. Usually other teams this time of the year are more open about taking on massive expiring contracts that should lead to significant cap relief next off-season, so moving both Asik and Lin now should be a less difficult task for Morey.
It is no secret that the Rockets front office desperately wants to add a third superstar to play alongside Dwight Howard and James Harden. Expect Morey to make sale pitches to Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dirk Nowitzki if they elect to become free agents this summer. Trading for Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves or Rajon Rondo from the Boston Celtics still remains a possibility, even though Parsons could be used in a sign-and-trade scenario to make either trade happen. And free agents such as Pau Gasol have constantly remain on the Rockets radar.
Finally, this could be seen as a goodwill gesture between the Rockets and Parsons. Last summer Parsons was instrumental in convincing Howard to join the Rockets from the Los Angeles Lakers. He has also proven to be a valuable role player. Throughout his three-year career Chandler has averaged 14.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.3 AST while maintaining a .473/.370 FG/3-PT percentage. Between his play on the court and his actions to help the team off the court as well, there is no doubt that Chandler Parsons is one of the most valuable Rockets on the roster.
The catch for the Rockets though is that by declining his option Parsons can only be a restricted free-agent, which gives Morey the opportunity to match any offer Parsons receives. It is possible the Rockets sign their third superstar, and then match Parson’s best offer from any potential suitor. Parsons would then receive his new contract a year earlier than expected. This would however put the Rockets over the salary cap, but as a team attempting to win it all soon rather than later, it might be a necessary evil to accept to reach that goal.
What do you think Rockets fans?! Is it worth risking Chandler Parsons to free up enough cap space for a third superstar? Weigh in here!