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The problem with Parsons


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#1 Red94

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:41 PM

New post: The problem with Parsons
By: Forrest Walker

Daryl Morey runs the Houston Rockets like a fantasy league. That’s one of the rallying cries of Morey’s detractors, along with other bon mots like, “he treats players like assets” and “Houston has a crisis of leadership. The problem isn’t that the detractors are wrong. The problem is that they’re probably onto something, and it just bit the Rockets in the backside. But why it all blew up? “Why” is the most important question of all, and it’s been lost in the shuffle. The why is something fans of NBA video games have known about for years. The why is staring us in the face.

There’s a reason that Courtney Lee and Goran Dragic and Kyle Lowry and now Chandler Parsons have found other homes. It’s also the same reason that Ish Smith and Jeff Adrien and Joey Dorsey are back in Houston. In the end, it’s a problem born out not of failure, but of the hazards of success. It’s a problem that plagues every would-be dynasty in an NBA 2K association mode. It’s the intersection of personal pride, talent evaluation, player development and the salary cap.It’s the video game problem, and it’s not going to stop any time soon.

Putting aside any speculation about backroom deals handcuffing houston into letting Parsons become a free agent a year early, Parsons is a perfect example of why it’s so hard to hold onto complementary talent for any team, especially the Rockets. Chandler Parsons was picked in the second round and signed to the kind of team-friendly (read: cheap) deal that comes with that territory. He turned out to be a tremendous value for the money, and a total success for Houston. His name became synonymous with second round steals and Houston was lauded for having him on such a low contract.

What everyone forgot was the thing that Daryl Morey is accused of forgetting: that contract is a person. When Parsons expressed his feeling that Houston should have anointed him as the third star, he taught us that his fate in Houston was likely sealed before the off-season even began. Like so many players in Houston before, Parsons wasn’t a star. He’s a great player, to be sure, and a ludicrous steal at under a million dollars a year, but he’s not now and probably will never be worth the $15 million dollar per year contract he received.

We know how his situation played out, but what would have happened had Houston exercised their team option and held onto Parsons at under $1 million this coming season? The most obvious consequence is that he would still be a Rocket. The second clearest consequence is that he would become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, a risk that’s greater than most people care to be aware of. The last consequence is that Parsons would have a different but equally compelling reason to be angry at the Rockets.

If Parsons was insulted by the idea that Houston wanted to sign another max-level player before re-signing him, if Parsons had qualms with the idea that he couldn’t carry them to a championship as the third star on the team, he would certainly be upset with a team choosing to pay him less than a million dollars yet again. The move that armchair GMs across the nation cite that Houston got wrong was still going to be a problem either way. Kicking the can down the road would probably have been the better call, but the damage was going to happen either way. Overpay and lower your team’s ceiling or insult one of your key players. That’s the option set faced by Houston over and over.

The reason is that the Rockets are great at identifying and developing talent but lack the team culture necessary to hold onto them. Only the San Antonio Spurs have much success retaining their second and third tier players, and that requires the best Coach in the league and the best locker room guy in history in Popovich and Duncan respectively. For Houston, excellent role players see their game blossom, see the contracts teams want to hand them, and they do what any reasonable person would: they leave. The desire for more money and a bigger role are just normal ramifications of reserves and role players having amazing years.

Having your bench be too good is a problem players of NBA 2K games have wrestled with for years. Players demand more than the team can possibly give them in role, minutes and money. When Morey allegedly treats the team and players like a video game, should we be surprised that the video games predict the problem? The only real solution in the games is to trade those players, and the same goes for the NBA. The reason the Rockets should have kept Parsons on his rookie contract wasn’t to keep him around long-term, or to avoid offending him. Those were both probably lost causes. The real benefit would have been the ability to package him in a trade before he could bolt. And if Morey is as calculation as people think he is? He’s more aware of that loss than anyone else.


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#2 Doug

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 07:27 PM



I think these are excellent points.

Also, let’s not forget that, moving forward, we have a better small forward in Ariza. He’s a slightly better offensive player and a much better defender. The only thing we lost by allowing Chandler to leave one year early is some extra money. But that only matters if that cost savings would have allowed us to upgrade the roster in a way that we still can’t. I don’t see, however, who we would have picked up with the seven million dollars we cost ourselves with the Ariza upgrade. And while we lost Parsons as a trade piece, I’m not sure that really matters. Who would he have been traded for? The only candidate that makes sense is packaging him (and other assets) for someone like Love. But that package would still pale in comparison to what other teams are offering. (It's also worth noting that, had we lost Chandler next year, I'm not sure there's any obvious small forward candidate that brings to the table what Ariza does that we could grab at his price.)

I think people have grown irrationally attached to Parsons because we’ve been following him for three years. We also keep telling ourselves that he was such a great value. But, taking a step back, this is likely going to be a situation in which we consider ourselves very lucky in a couple of years.


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#3 slick shoes

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:05 PM

One thing I have yet to see many people discuss is Morey's quote about the contract being "untradeable". This, to me, indicates that he saw the high likelyhood of another team becoming increasingly interested in Chandler and us using him as a trade piece, NOT as an anchor to our roster. The contract wasn't "limiting our future flexibility" or any other variation, it was "untradeable".

 

Let it simmer.


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#4 timetodienow1234567

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 09:13 PM

Why are people saying Ariza is a better SF? He is a better fit playing alongside Harden as he is better at converting open looks and plays strong defense, but I'm struggling to understand why people are saying he's better.
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#5 SeanNeutron

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 10:23 PM

I agree doug. We all got attached and loved his game especially for that value. While I didnt want to lose him, his game doesnt warrant that $$$$. He'd be the best 3rd or 4th option in the league had it worked out differently. But his irrational confidence thinking he was their third star is amusing.
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#6 rocketrick

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 10:35 PM

New post: The problem with Parsons
By: Forrest Walker


When Morey allegedly treats the team and players like a video game, should we be surprised that the video games predict the problem? The only real solution in the games is to trade those players, and the same goes for the NBA. The reason the Rockets should have kept Parsons on his rookie contract wasn’t to keep him around long-term, or to avoid offending him. Those were both probably lost causes. The real benefit would have been the ability to package him in a trade before he could bolt. And if Morey is as calculation as people think he is? He’s more aware of that loss than anyone else.


I think Forrest hit the nail right on the head in that the Rockets most likely next move with Parsons would have been to trade him before the February trade deadline.

Can anyone just imagine for a moment the dissension within the team that would have caused mid-season? If we think the acrimony after Parsons leaving to Dallas was bad, I believe it would have been much worse during the season.

Obviously, as Forrest also clearly lays out, the biggest problem is that the quality of role players that Houston has brought aboard only to lose later has been excellent. Of course, all of them wanted to be paid and none really fit into Houston's long-term plans.

I am glad that Morey and Alexander made the tough call in cutting ties with Parsons now and I have faith they will continue finding the next diamonds in the rough going forward that will also probably end up playing on other teams at some point since pretty much all players out there really want to get paid more than anything. The Spurs are the exception (and Dirk) and I believe Morey has to plan his next moves assuming that the next Parsons isn't going to settle for a below market contract and just continue dealing with bringing in new players and improving the roster year to year.
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#7 rockets best fan

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 12:57 AM

@rocketrick

totally agree..............TOTALLY. I also like the points by Doug and SeanNeutron. I think Parsons was a legion in his own mind :lol: 15 mil is not just overpay...........it's grossly overpay.

 

@slickshoes

as for that contract...........UNTRADABLE is accurate. that 15% trade kicker for starters. if we had traded Parsons during either of the first two years of his contract we would owe him an extra 6 million dollars in addition to his 15 mil per. also the contract had a player option for year 3 which means he can opt out after his second year and try to re-up after the new TV deal and at the same time as D-12, plus that player option made him worthless on trade market because he would only be a rental to any team interested. A 21 MILLION DOLLAR RENTAL...........THAT'S UNTRADABLE :lol: even if we get somebody to bite it would be because we attached draft picks to him. however even if his contract didn't have the trade kicker or the player option I just don't see Morey paying 15 mil for Parson before acquiring his third star. I lean more to what Forrest said..........the writing was already on the wall we just didn't see it. Parson like many before him thought he was worth more than we did. at some point that was bound to create a problem


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#8 timetodienow1234567

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 01:05 AM

Moreys comments about being tradeable means that he didn't want parsons. He wanted him as a trade chip. Let's not pretend otherwise. I don't blame Morey, but I do think parsons made the right choice for himself.
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#9 rockets best fan

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 01:23 AM

@TTDN

he wanted Parsons, just not for 15 mil per


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#10 Losthief

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 02:47 AM

-it said it posted the comment successfully (from main site not forums) but never showed up, this is a re-write....so if it appears eventually...sry for the double post and delete one:

 

@ttdn

 

Why are people saying Ariza is a better SF?

 

-per game/over all-

Ariza 15.8 per

14.4 pts 6.2 rbs 2.5 asts 1.9 stocks 1.7 tov 40.7% 3pt 44.6% corner 3pt 8 win shares (ws) .141 ws/48

Parsons 15.9 per

16.6 pts 5.5 rbs 4.0 asts 1.6 stocks 1.9 tov 37 % 3pt 42.7 % corner 3pt 7.6 win shares .131 (ws) ws/48

 

-per 36 min- (parsons 37.6 min per game, ariza 35.4 min per game)

Ariza

14.6 pts 6.3 rbs 2.5 asts 2.0 stocks 1.7 tov

 

Parsons

15.9 pts 5.3 rbs 3.9 asts 1.5 stocks 1.9 tov

 

-per 100 poss- (this adjusts better for our quicker pace last year (5th for HOU/19th for WAS)

Ariza

20.9 pts 9.0 rbs 3.6 asts 2.8 stocks 2.5 tov

 

Parsons

22.0 pts 7.3 rbs 5.3 asts 2.1 stocks 2.6 tov

 

So why parsons, he's younger (25 versus 29) and he creates more assists/ballhandling (which hurts us to lose) and is better at creating for himself/own shots

 

Yet, in ariza we get someone who is a equal/better win shares, equal/better 3pt shooter, and a better defender (which is huge for us, we go from having 2 plus defenders and 3 non-plus defenders in the starting lineup to 3 plus defenders and 2 non-plus defenders (and one at each tier, pg, wing, big), big diff.)* And even more key is the fact that we get him at 53% of the price and a savings of 7 million a year. So next year i would expect about equal production, and although by the end of the 4 years, Ariza likely declines by age 33 and parsons improves slightly by age 29 what we do with the 7 million a year difference can make up for such changes, but thats something we will have to see/hope for. Also....how much will parsons really improve at this point unless he remembers how to play defense again.

 

Also, to those who say arizas stats are in a contract year, so were parsons, but more importantly ariza per 36 numbers are roughly consistent with his past, he just saw an uptick in minutes and a slight uptick in points due to the increase in 3pt %. And his corner 3pt % actually slumped a bit last year (which is the role/key shot for rockets he will fill) and as long as he has been assisted on 3's at his normal rate (.955+) percent he has always shot above 38% on 3's (higher than parsons last year), the only exception being the year in HOU were his assisted 3's rate was (.846). (counted since his first time he played actual minutes at age 22/23 on LAL). So we have a bad taste in our mouths cause the dude cannot and should not try to create his own shots, but he's a very productive player all the same.

 

-All Stats from Basketball-Reference-

 

*This is why i think harden will have a uptick in his apparant defense next year, because individual defense is completely tied into team defense and this is without the outside chance that our 4 spot improves to a defense nuetral slot or better. So with more plus defenders we should be able to hide/obscure harden's deficiencies better (a la steve nash on the suns) so he will appear to be a better defender. But that is another post for another day.


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#11 Jatman20

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 04:24 AM

>I would add (NBA.com) Ariza was 11th in the league in catch and shoot; while it lists Parsons as 45th. Let us not forget that Parsons had severe back spasms in week two I believe; which flared up again on X-mas day vs the Spurs. Although not career ending, statistics show a high reoccurrence within a year. Maybe a higher risk for a $15 mil price tag. Not to say Ariza will be injury free....knock on wood.

Edited by Jatman20, 29 July 2014 - 04:30 AM.

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#12 RudyT1995

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 07:07 PM

This is all I need to know about Parsons.

 

http://www.people.co...ns-flirt-dinner

 

Good riddance.

 

By-the-way, I don't normally follow people magazine.  The headline popped up in my Rockets news feed.


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#13 rockets best fan

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 07:21 PM

@RudyT1995

"I don't normally follow people magazine"............yeah right :lol: then why the disclaimer? no shame in following people magazine if that's your thing :lol: just messing with you


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My new years resolution.....drink that special bottle of wine, take your son on that fishing trip, live each day as if it were my last because everyday of LIFE is special B)


#14 slick shoes

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:15 PM

This is all I need to know about Parsons.

 

http://www.people.co...ns-flirt-dinner

 

Good riddance.

 

By-the-way, I don't normally follow people magazine.  The headline popped up in my Rockets news feed.

 

Meh. It's the offseason and she's good looking. Go for it CP.


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#15 RudyT1995

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:40 PM

Meh. It's the offseason and she's good looking. Go for it CP.

 

It just shows how desperate Parsons is to be famous off the court.  If he wanted to date a hot 18 yo he could be dating almost anyone, it didn't have to be a Kardashian.

 

Everything that's happened since he signed the Mav's offer makes me glad that we let him go.


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#16 timetodienow1234567

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:46 PM

If we're criticizing players' choices with regards to their personal lives, it's kind of hypocritical to not mention that harden reportedly pays for his girlfriends.

Why don't we just avoid these types of issues and focus on basketball?
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#17 Steven

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:02 PM

If we're criticizing players' choices with regards to their personal lives, it's kind of hypocritical to not mention that harden reportedly pays for his girlfriends.

Why don't we just avoid these types of issues and focus on basketball?

So what are your thoughts on Team USA's practice today? Think harden and Rose will be the starting backcourt?
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#18 RudyT1995

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:07 PM

If we're criticizing players' choices with regards to their personal lives, it's kind of hypocritical to not mention that harden reportedly pays for his girlfriends.

Why don't we just avoid these types of issues and focus on basketball?

 

That's just it.  This isn't his "personal life".  What it really is is a transparent attempt to be mentioned in the tabloid press and become more famous.  

 

He should focus on basketball, not on starting a second career as a reality tv personality.


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#19 timetodienow1234567

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:13 PM

So what are your thoughts on Team USA's practice today? Think harden and Rose will be the starting backcourt?


Idk. I think it might be rose/curry. Curry is a better shooter and Coach K really emphasizes that. Who starts at PF? Is it KD with George at the 3? I think it will be

Rose
Curry
George
Durant
Davis
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#20 NorEastern

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:26 PM

I do find this incident interesting. I personally thought Parsons would have more loyalty than that. Of course his ambition and thirst for celebrity were on display for all to see. With Ariza on board losing Parsons is less damaging than losing Asik. We will be seeing a weaker Rockets team in the 2014-2015 season.


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