This has all the makings of being a great summer for Chandler Parsons. After making less than a million dollars in his first three seasons in the NBA, the 38th pick of the 2011 draft was going to have a chance at a payday either with the Rockets or a team of his choosing. That might be out the window now.
Kevin Love has reportedly told the Timberwolves that he will not return after next season when he can opt out of the final year of his four-year contract. While Minnesota has maintained they won’t trade the three-time all star, dealing him before he can leave seems like the smart play. Enter the Rockets.
Golden State and Chicago are reportedly Love’s top two trade destinations. Los Angeles and New York are always in play, but the Rockets shouldn’t be counted out as a future home for the 25-year old. Rockets head coach Kevin McHale traded for and coached Love early in his career, Houston has become a prime NBA destination once again (see: Howard, Dwight- 2013), plus, the Rockets are good and have assets to trade with Chandler Parsons at the top of the list.
Parsons is scheduled to make less than a million dollars in what is the final year of a four-year contract he signed after being selected with the 38th pick in to 2011 draft. Next summer, he becomes an unrestricted free agent, so why would the Wolves want a guy who can leave one year after being the centerpiece of a Kevin Love trade? The reason is simple, and it’s why Parsons has high hopes for the summer.
Year four of Parsons’ contract is an option year, which has to be exercised before the NBA’s free agency period begins in July. If the Rockets decline the option, Parsons becomes a restricted free agent. This is the option Parsons prefers because it means that instead of making less than a million dollars, he could take home as much as $10 million. Sure, restricted free agency isn’t the same as unrestricted, but he’d be allowed to sign an offer sheet with a team of his choice, and the Rockets, a team he already likes playing for, would get the chance to match. The problem for Parsons is, a trade could take away that freedom.
If the Rockets and Wolves were to get a deal done before the draft, Minnesota could simply decline the fourth year option on Parsons’ contract, making him a restricted free agent this summer, giving them the right to match any long-term offer, which they’d be a lock to do since he was the key piece of the Love trade. Now, instead of being locked into a place he wants to be, Parsons is stuck in a post-Love Minnesota for multiple years, not exactly what he was hoping for, but there would be a way out, though it’s a risky way out.
If the Wolves were to decline the fourth-year option on Parsons’ contract they have to make him a qualifying offer, which would be a 1-year deal for 190% of his 2013-14 contract, otherwise he’d become an unrestricted free agent. Parsons could simply accept that deal and become a free agent next summer, but that could be an awful lot of money to turn down, and there’s no guarantee the money will be there in the future.
At this point, the Rockets trading for Kevin Love is a long shot, but it Daryl Morey gets it done it means Chandler Parsons is on his way out, likely stuck on a rebuilding Minnesota team instead of a title contending Rockets team. It’s safe to say, that isn’t the summer he’s hoping for.
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