DALLAS – If the Dallas Mavericks are able to sign the top two free agents on their wish-list, they won’t have enough cap space to re-sign small forward Chandler Parsons.
It’s a gamble the Mavericks are willing to take, and it’s also a gamble Parsons is willing to take.
Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside and Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley are the two free agents the Mavericks have pegged as their must-haves for this summer. Whitehead is a ferocious shot-blocking, robo-rebounding defender who takes complete control of the paint and just makes life totally miserable for anyone who dare enters his space.
Conley, meanwhile, is this steady, cool-handed playmaker who is as lethal as he is quite and unassuming. The nine-year veteran has this cobra-like demeanor about him in that he can attack, attack and attack with so much proficiency that he leaves defenders wondering what hit them.
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Should the Mavericks be able to get Whiteside and Conley signed, sealed and delivered, that would give them three top-flight players – along with Dirk Nowitzki -- and immediately thrust them back into the NBA championship picture. But it would also signal the end of Parsons’ short and brief two-year run with the Mavs.
Then again, owner Mark Cuban tried to convince Parsons not to opt-out of the final year of the three-year, $46 million contract he signed with the Mavericks in the summer of 2014. Parsons was set to collect $16 million next season had he opted into the last year of his contract with the Mavericks.
But knowing that the NBA salary cap will increase to approximately $94 million this summer, Parsons realized with his skill-set and his young age (27), he could possibly sign a new deal with a starting salary of $22 million. The only problem with that is the Mavericks are wary that Parsons had two surgeries to the same right knee in less than 11 months, so they’re not exactly crazy about investing that much long-term money into the five-year veteran.
Then again, from Parsons’ standpoint, he’s not about to sit back idly while the Mavericks chase Whiteside and Conley. Free agent dollars will be flowing from other teams, and Parsons could get shut out of the big pay day while waiting to see what transpires between the Mavericks and their first-class courtships with Whiteside and Conley.
Last year, while the Mavericks were acting like a school-age kids and chasing Clippers free agent center DeAndre Jordan from Los Angles to Houston, guard Monta Ellis signed with the Indiana Pacers after opting out of the final year of his contract with the Mavericks. Then again, the Mavericks had gladly washed their hands of Ellis and his surly attitude once he opted out of the final year of his contract.
That’s not exactly the case with Parsons. But the additions of Whiteside and Conley would mean the subtraction of Parsons.
To be more succinct, the all-out pursuit of Whiteside and Conley could mean the end of Parsons’ days with the Mavericks.
Do you really think Parsons will pass up a maxed-out contract offer from another team while waiting to see what happens between the Mavericks and their mad rush to sign both Whiteside and Conley?
With so much at stake, would you wait if you were Parsons?
I think not.
Thus, just the mere chase of Whiteside and Conley by the Mavericks could end Parsons’ tenure with the Mavericks. Especially if early on in the free agent process, someone jumps out and offers Parsons a maxed-out contract.
Dwain Price can be heard every Wednesday from 3-4 p.m. on dfwiradio.com