He may be unaware of it, but Chris Bosh delivered a big-time assist to his hometown team on Friday.After LeBron James’ long-awaited blockbuster announcement that he was returning his talents to Cleveland to play for the Cavaliers, the Houston Rockets were frantically in the process of trading players and clearing salary cap space so they could swoop in and acquire Bosh. Free agent Bosh, a Miami Heat teammate of James the past four seasons, was assumed by many to be leaving Miami for a four-year, $88 million contract with the Rockets.Had that occurred, the Rockets reportedly then would have matched the three-year, $46 million offer sheet small forward Chandler Parsons signed with the Mavs on Thursday.But on the day the NBA’s free agent flood gates finally flew open, Miami attempted to stem the tide by showering Bosh with cash and throwing a monkey wrench into the Rockets’ plans.Not long after James announced his homecoming return to Cleveland, Bosh decided to continue his relationship with Miami and agreed to a five-year, $118 million contract with the Heat.That left the Rockets with no Bosh and facing a future possibly without Parsons, too.Houston wanted both players but needed to tap a complex dance to pull that off.Signing Bosh to a mega-deal first would have allowed the Rockets to then exceed the salary cap to re-sign their own player Parsons, who is a restricted free agent.But with Bosh staying in South Beach, Parsons isn’t as attractive at $15 million-plus per year for a team that has multiple needs.Under terms of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, the Rockets have until 11 p.m. Sunday to decide whether they’re going to match the Mavs’ offer sheet to Parsons.And they will likely wait until the last minute to decide, if for no other reason than to keep the Mavericks’ options limited until then. There are reports out of Houston that the Rockets likely won’t match the offer sheet, and instead look at Washington Wizards free agent small forward Trevor Ariza, whom they believe they can get at a much lower price than Parsons. That would be fine with the Mavericks, who view Parsons as the best available small forward for their needs, short of James. Parsons, at 6-foot-9, 227 pounds, averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game last season, his third with the Rockets. If the Mavs are able to acquire Parsons, he would line up on the front line alongside Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler.Add in a backcourt that includes Monta Ellis and either Devin Harris or Raymond Felton, and the Mavs believe they have a formidable lineup that can compete with any team in the NBA.After losing to the Spurs in the first round of this year’s playoffs, the Mavs knew they need someone who could stretch the floor with his perimeter shooting, attack the backboards and be a factor on defense. It helps too that Parsons is only 25 years old and could be a fixture in the Mavs’ lineup for years to come.Still, it’s a waiting game for the Mavs. Waiting for the Rockets to get over their Bosh hangover and decide how to proceed in regards to Parsons.If the Rockets decide to match the offer to Parsons, then it would be the Mavs’ turn to go to Plan B. That list would likely include Luol Deng, Lance Stephenson, Eric Bledsoe and Ariza.Plan A, however, is still alive and well. Thanks to a big-time assist from a hometown kid named Bosh.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice