The Houston Rockets seemed to have found a masterful way to work the system in 2014 NBA Free Agency when they didn’t pick up the option of Chandler Parsons, making him a restricted free agent this summer. The assumption was that the move would allow the Rockets to match any offer sheet given to Parsons while also giving them the flexibility to sign a third star to trot out alongside James Harden and Dwight Howard.
The Rockets are now looking like they may get bit in the rear by their own tactics, though, as the Dallas Mavericks have signed Parsons to an offer sheet reportedly worth over $45 million for the next three seasons. As a result, Houston now has three days to match the offer or else Parsons will be the newest member of the Mavs.
While matching the offer sheet given to Parsons isn’t a far-fetched venture for Houston by any stretch as the youngster was bound to receive a pretty penny on the open market, the three days throws a Texas-sized monkey wrench into the Rockets’ plans. As Houston has been in discussions with Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh, nothing has come from their pursuit of a third star and now the pressure to get a deal agreed upon is higher than ever.
The formula of having three star-caliber players on one roster has been proven time and again to be successful. Subsequently, it’s no wonder that the Rockets would be looking to add that third star. However, having a role player like Parsons on their roster is a key part of why they’ve been able to rise to prominence in the past couple of years. Losing him wouldn’t be catastrophic if they could still get a third star, but having that third star in addition to Parsons in the lineup is clearly the ideal scenario for Houston and what they were trying to set themselves up for.
For the Mavericks, extending Parsons the offer sheet is a brilliant move. Not only do they put themselves in serious contention to sign a young player that could drastically help their chances of improving, but they also put this high level of pressure on a conference foe in the Rockets.
With Parsons agreeing to the offer sheet, Houston is essentially faced with the dilemma of trying to sign their third star in the next three days and still being able to retain Parsons, letting Parsons walk and continuing their pursuit of a third star, or matching the Parsons offer and giving up on their pursuit of a third star. Though it’s clear the pressure is on, it’s unclear which of those options is the one that the Rockets will take, but we’ll certainly see in the next few days.