I have similar feelings about Parsons. Morey and McHale love Parsons and I can't figure out why.
I think that if it wasn't for his contract, he wouldn't be viewed in the same way. What if Parson's and Lin swapped contracts. Then Lin would be viewed as one of the best values in the NBA and Parson's wouldn't be as nearly as revered or beloved as he is now.
The common belief is that Parson's is a great offensive player. However I disagree. I think that he's is the product of getting to play along the best 2 guard and the best center in the NBA and that he gets to play superstar level minutes. Parsons plays almost 38 minutes a game. And its not like the Rockets are thin at that position, rather I think that it's probably their deepest position since Harden, Garcia, Casspi, and Hamilton can all play minutes at he SF spot.
Since the new year Parsons has had some bad games offensively. 3 for 11, 1 for 11, 6 for 17, 4 for 12, 3 for 13, 8 for 24, 4 for 13, 3 for 10, 3 for 11. Whenever he has a bad game no one seems to care, including McHale. When Lin has a bad game he gets torched on here and on twitter. Why? Because Lin makes more than Parsons? Is it Lins fault no one drafted him so he hit free agency sooner?
The per 36 minute stats are in favor of Lin when comparing the 2 players. Per 36 minutes Lin averages 15.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.19 assists, 1.11 steals, and 3.15 TO's. Parsons averages 15.46, 5.31, 3.79. 1.07, and 1.85.
The advanced stats favor Parsons slightly. Parson's usage rate is 19.0 and Lin's is 20.4. However Lin's plays PG and often leads the second unit so his usage rate should be higher. Parsons has an offense and defense rating of 113/107 while Lin's is 109/108. Yes Parson's ratings are higher but they should be since he is a starter playing with the starting unit.
Members of this forum will probably throw the term "LOF" at me and ignore everything else Ive written. But the point of this post was to bring to light something that is probably going to be unpopular. Parson's is overrated and he will most likely be given a contract this summer that kills any possibility of the Rockets getting a legitimate third star on the team. If you think Parson's can be that player then your dreaming.
Parsons is a good player. Can he be an all-star one day? Probably not. Is he going to get a big contract this year or the next? Probably. I would much rather see the Rockets leave things as is next year and try to add 1 or 2 complimentary pieces (who play defense). When Parson's hits free agency let the market dictate his worth. Most likely some team reaching for the stars (like Milwaukee, Utah, or Orlando) will give Parson's over 10 million annual. He might be worth that for those teams, but If Im the Rockets id much rather try to get a player like Melo or Love if possible. If those don't work out then why not save that money, pick up a player such as Gerald Green (who is actually having a better season than Parson's this year), and sign T Jones to an extension. Jones has a much higher upside than Parsons and Jones will be a free agent in 2 years. If Harden, Howard, and Parsons are all signed long term I dont see how Jones stays a Rocket, even with Lin and Asik contracts off the books.
The only time people need to worry about being negatively termed "LOF" or accused of a Lin bias is when their posts are so extremely skewed that it drops their value to almost nothing. This is not the case here
I share your concerns about Parsons. He does have limitations. We are seeing them partially because he is pushing himself to be more than he is. He doesn't have the quickness to drive from the perimeter successfully--yet he does. His shot is too flat to shoot a high percentage from 3--yet he does. He doesn't have the strength to play inside with the big boys--yet he does. He doesn't have the necessary vertical to play above the rim on offense and defense (alley-oops, dunks, blocks, etc.)--yet he does.
He isn't elite at any of these things. He has proven to be quite capable at all of them. Even his passing is above average.
Now, I believe he can improve his shooting and get stronger. This remedies two of the issues listed above. As far as quickness and vertical go--he's probably close to maxed out on those. He also seems to have a good head on his shoulders so he should learn to maximize his strengths, make good choices, and limit mistakes as time goes on.
Ultimately, I think a trade that can bring back a star including Parsons will be one of the shrewdest moves Morey may have to make as a GM. Trading away a fan favorite (who is a very good player) and putting all of your chips in for a championship is what we're talking about here. If it doesn't work most fans will never forgive him.
Personally, I am comfortable moving forward either way. We can still upgrade the PG position. PF is also an option--either through the development of Jones or acquiring Melo/Love (or whoever). If Parsons somehow becomes the 5th best player in the starting unit that would be ridiculous--and that is entirely possible.
He is adapting his game. He is taking nearly 20% fewer threes this year while taking more shots and drawing more fouls. (On a side note. Is there a team in the league that is worse at one of the fundamentals of basketball--making a good pass. By this I mean a pass that comes in at or near the chest so that on a catch and shoot the shooter can move easily and naturally into his shooting motion. I could not even begin to count the number of passes that are thrown to players knees and off to the left/right. I believe this is part of what has pulled our overall 3 pt. efficiency down. It is so much easier when the passes are good--and it seems like everyone does it Half the time there's no reason for it either--just bad passes. Rant over) Overall, his per36 numbers are nearly identical to last year. Where a change is noticeable is that he is making fewer mistakes, drawing more fouls, and being more of a playmaker.
I'm not that interested in comparing him to Lin as I don't think it is a fair comparison and I also believe his numbers are pretty solid. He is shooting 53% inside the arc, 37% outside, and 47% overall with a higher volume of shots and fewer mistakes than Lin. Swap the salaries and we'd all be giddy as I believe $8.3M is still a pretty solid wage for a player that does what Parsons does.
I don't know what to think about his defense. I think this post-season will go a long way into showing us what he can and can't do on that end.
Here is a chart like the ones I posted recently for Lin and Harden. It shows Parsons' FG% from game to game for the season.
Since March he is shooting 28% on threes. Hopefully, he can get out of the slump by the time the postseason begins. Is he injured? Tired? Who knows? A few games' rest doesn't sound like a bad idea. Looking at the chart, his shooting isn't as erratic as Lin's and his up/down trends tend to be more stable where he gets hot for a while and then cools off for a bit. The good news is this chart does seem to signal an up trend A lot of our postseason success will depend on Parsons, Jones, Beverley and Lin as opposing teams will be looking to shut down Howard/Harden. I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes.