It took almost three days and a lot of anxiety-filled moments, but the Dallas Mavericks finally got their man.
After anxiously waiting to see if the Rockets were going to match the three-year, $46 million offer sheet presented to Chandler Parsons, the Mavs finally received the good news some six hours before the deadline that their patience had indeed paid off. The Rockets declined to match the exorbitant offer, thus making Parsons an official member of the Mavs.
Besides LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, the Mavs had pegged Parsons as the best small forward in this summer’s free agency class. And they can’t wait to place Parsons on their frontline next to Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler.
Along with shooting guard Monta Ellis, the Mavs believe they have a Big 4 that can rival any team in the NBA. They also believe the addition of Parsons puts them back in the NBA championship conversation — a place the Mavs haven’t been since capturing the title in 2011.
Also on Sunday, the Mavs agreed to terms with 34-year-old swingman Richard Jefferson on a one-year deal for the veteran minimum. He will basically fill the spot vacated by Vince Carter, who signed a three-year, $12.2 million contract with Memphis on Saturday.
Last year, Jefferson played all 82 games for the Utah Jazz and averaged 10.1 points and shot 40.9 percent from 3-point range.
After receiving word that the Rockets weren’t going to match the Mavs’ offer sheet, Parsons tweeted: “HELLLLLLLLLO DALLAS #MFFL.” He also thanked his former Rockets teammates, owner Les Alexander, general manager Daryl Morey and the city of Houston and its fans.
Parsons, who will turn 26 on Oct. 25, is a versatile player who averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.2 steals this past season while playing 37.6 minutes per game. The three-year veteran shot 47.2 percent from the field and 37 percent from 3-point range.
Since free agent Shawn Marion is 36 years old, the Mavs wanted to get younger at small forward while also finding someone who could stretch the floor offensively and make defenses pay for doubling Nowitzki. They believe they have that in Parsons, who at 6-foot-9 and 227 pounds, is agile, can effectively run the floor and is an above average defender.
In his contract with the Mavs, Parsons will collect $14.7 million next season, $15.03 million in 2015-16 and has a player option that will pay $16.02 million during the 2016-17 season.
The addition of Parsons ended a wild and eventful three days for the Mavs. After Dallas signed Parsons to an offer sheet Wednesday, Houston had until 11 p.m. Sunday to decide if it was going to match the offer or allow him to leave without the Rockets receiving any compensation.
While the Mavs waited to hear back from Houston, Dallas was in talks with representatives of Trevor Ariza and Luol Deng, who were backup plans in case the Mavs lost out on Parsons. But Ariza agreed to sign with the Rockets and Deng decided to join the Miami Heat.
That got the temperature boiling in the Mavs’ offices, especially because rumors out of Houston were that the Rockets were leaning toward matching the offer sheet to Parsons. But by late Sunday afternoon, the Mavs got word that Houston was moving in another direction and that Parsons could pack his bags and head to Dallas.
Besides the official signing of Parsons, the Mavs can now move on and put the finishing touches on other housecleaning duties. That includes signing Nowitzki to his three-year, $30 million contract and Devin Harris to his three-year, $12 million deal.
Dallas remains in the market for a backup point guard, and Mo Williams remains the likely candidate to join the Mavs in that role.
The Mavs could be losing forward/center DeJuan Blair. ESPN and other media outlets reported late Sunday that the Washington Wizards are in discussions with Dallas about a sign-and-trade deal to acquire the veteran.