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The problem with Chandler Parsons

7/8/2014
Chandler Parsons averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists for the Rockets last season. Andrew Richardson/USA TODAY Sports

Chandler Parsons isn’t the big fish the Dallas Mavericks have been trying to hook for a few years, but the promising, productive small forward would still be a heck of a catch.

The arrow is going up for Parsons. At 25, he’s just entering his prime. His scoring, rebounding and assist totals have increased in each of his three NBA seasons, averaging 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists as the Houston Rockets’ third offensive option last season. And he just happens to be pals with Dirk Nowitzki, having played in the Mavs star’s charity baseball game in the past.

The 6-foot-9 Parsons makes perfect sense for the Mavs, other than that pesky restricted free-agent tag.

The Mavs are seriously considering attempting to sign Parsons to an offer sheet regardless of the circumstances. It becomes an easy decision for Dallas if Chris Bosh accepts Houston’s offer of a max contract, which could cause Rockets management to shy away from committing to a fourth eight-figure salary on the roster and stepping into luxury-tax territory.

If the Miami dominoes don’t fall by July 10, when deals can be officially signed, the Mavs might be able to force Houston’s hand into deciding whether to keep Parsons or continue their Bosh pursuit.

What if Houston matches the Mavs’ offer within the three-day span allowed by the CBA? No blood, no foul? Not necessarily.

The worst-case scenario is that the Rockets take the full three days to match an offer to Parsons and Dallas’ other Plan B and C targets go to other teams during that time, leaving the Mavs picking through the leftovers to fill their need for a starting small forward.

Is gambling on Parsons worth the risk of being left in the middle of the sea with a big hole in the boat?