- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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DALLAS – New Dallas Mavericks small forward Chandler Parsons, the former second-round pick who just signed a three-year, $46 million deal, said he hasn’t “even scratched the surface of how good I can be.”
The Houston Rockets, his former team, weren’t willing to financially commit to Parsons as the third foundation piece on their roster. That bothers Parsons, 25, but he’s thrilled the Mavs are betting he will blossom in Dallas.
“A bigger role and more leadership in Dallas is really what I wanted and what I felt was best for me at this point in my career,” Parsons said Tuesday evening on a conference call with Dallas reporters. “I thought this was the perfect place for me to do it. With the current guys that they have here and the system that [Coach Rick Carlisle] has, I just think it’ll be perfect for the style of play that I have.
“I have nothing but love for Houston, but at the same time, I’m definitely excited for a bigger role in Dallas and to be that guy on the team who can hopefully be here for a long time and be a big building block going forward.”
Parsons didn’t back off his comments to Yahoo! Sports about feeling “offended” that the Rockets, who had the right to match the offer to their restricted free agent, did not consider Parsons worth the $46 million price if it meant sacrificing Houston’s flexibility to pursue another star. However, Parsons said he didn’t mean to sound “ungrateful or disrespected in any way.”
“I hope I didn’t hurt anybody’s feelings, and I hope there’s no hard feelings there, because I had a great time in Houston. I created a lot of memories there and have nothing but love and respect for the organization, the coaching staff and my teammates,” Parsons said. “But it’s just offensive when they’re publicly saying they don’t have a third star and they’re going after a third star when I was right there in front of them.”
Parsons said the Rockets’ front office “really did me a solid” by declining the team option to pay him $965,000 for the final season of his rookie contract. That made Parsons a restricted free agent this summer instead of an unrestricted free agent in 2015.
Houston expected to match any offer for Parsons, but the Rockets didn’t anticipate him getting a near-max contract. The Rockets still intended to match keep Parsons, but Houston’s plans changed after they failed to sign All-Star power forward Chris Bosh, a development that surprised the franchise.
Houston general manager Daryl Morey has said he had doubts the Rockets could contend for a title with Parsons locked into an “untradable” contract.
The Dallas decision-makers did what they deemed necessary to acquire an ascending talent. Parsons has increased his scoring, rebounding and assist totals each season he has been in the league. He averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists for a 54-win Houston team last season that got eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
The Mavs paid a premium rate for Parsons’ promise, aggressively recruiting an impact player whose arrow is going up. The Dallas brass expects Parsons to flourish as a point-forward type in their flow offense and sees ample room for further growth in his game.
Parsons shares those visions, to say the least.
“I’m a very confident guy,” Parsons said. “That’s the big reason why I wanted to come to Dallas, because they do view me as that guy.”