What is Chandler Parsons’ value?

First, the basics: Parsons averaged 15.5 points per game last season to go along with 5.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists.  Coupled with improved shooting (49% overall, 39% on 3′s) and the belief that there is no reason he can’t/shouldn’t improve upon his 73% from the free-throw line, one might even go so far as to posit that the third-year forward is a budding All-Star.  But let’s keep going.

Parsons’ PER last season stood at 15.3 which basically meant that by that metric, he was an average NBA player.  (The league average for PER is set at 15.00).  The value in PER is that it is per-minute and pace-adjusted.  As we know, the Rockets’ played at one of the highest pace’s in the league last season, adding a bit more clarity to the per-game statline cited above.  On the flip side, the downside to PER is that it does not account for defensive contributions.  As some may remember, Kevin McHale had mentioned in Parsons’ rookie season that one of the reasons he was so quickly inserted into the starting lineup was for his acumen in pick&roll coverage (i.e. his ability to switch coverage quickly.)  These contributions are not ascertainable through box-score data.

Let’s move on to ‘win shares’ where Chandler Parsons was second on the team, contributing 7 wins.  (James Harden was first with 12.8.)  Here is how win shares are calculated.  Like PER,’win shares’ are based on box-score statistics; however, ‘win shares’ is also inclusive of defensive rating, problematic because of the team influence inherent within that metric.  (Having said that, this does not negate the value for intra-team comparisons.)

RAPM is where things get interesting in that you find Parsons sharing roughly the same air as the likes of a 33-year-old Luis Scola, Trevor Ariza, and Zaza Pachulia, and lower than five other Rockets.  Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

To try to put it simply, RAPM attempts to account for some of the problems with APM by controlling for backup, bad team, and teammate effects.  What is APM?  In the words of Houston Rockets Vice President of Basketball Operations Eli Witus:

For each player, it starts with the team’s average point differential for each possession when they are on the court (sometimes referred to as the player’s on-court plus/minus). This gives a number showing how effective the player’s team was when they were in the game…Adjusted plus/minus uses regression analysis to control for these biases by controlling for the quality of the teammates a player played with and the opponents he played against.

RAPM is an improvement upon this in addressing the previously aforementioned problems.  (Though it should be noted that sample size is a documented concern.)

So what to make of all of this?  By primitive per-game stats, the 24-year-old looks like a possible future star.  By PER standards, he’s around average; by win shares, he was the second most positive contributor on the team; and by RAPM, he’s very replaceable.  How to put it all together?  Let’s go to the eye test.

Parsons is a streaky shooter whose worked tirelessly to improve upon that aspect of his game – there isn’t any reason to think that won’t hold consistent.  While 6’10, he lacks the strength to ever expect any type of low post ability.  Parsons is an adequate to above average ball-handler, but while he has enough ‘hops’ for a few tip dunks every few weeks, he lacks the lateral quickness to create for himself and attack the rim off the dribble.  (Much of his damage in that department against the Thunder came against the much larger Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka.)  Because of this limited quickness, one can be fairly certain Parsons will never be able to create off the dribble, an almost requisite trait for ‘star’ wings in the modern NBA.  It should be noted, however, that his smarts in handling off the pick&roll have proved valuable in this offense.

Defensively, Parsons took a nosedive last season, possibly due to a greater focus upon the other end.  He is still, though, seen as a quality team defender, capable of making smart, quick rotations.

So greatly has Parsons’ repute risen in the public eye that I’d posit, and have done so, that he’s become the most overrated Houston Rocket.  Shortly after the signing of Dwight Howard, it was interesting to note the surplus of mentions from national publications citing Parsons as part of a new ‘Big 3′ (including Howard and Harden.)  Preposterous, of course: Parsons isn’t a ‘star’ and most likely never will be.

It’s important to clarify here upon the distinction between actual and relative value.  Parsons’ value lies in his contract.  To wit, he is–bar none–the single best value contract in the entire league.  But if that salary were regularized across all players with an inspection upon solely on-court merits, then of course, much of that value diminishes.  I have almost no doubt that if, when Parsons’ contract is up, the team were in the same position that they found themselves in last summer–headed nowhere–and faced with a similar decision as they did with Goran Dragic, they would choose to let Parsons walk–as they did Dragic–rather than shell out market value.  Because they will not be in that similar situation, things get more interesting.

A reasonable estimate for Parsons’ market rate might be $9mill-$10mill, an amount I explained almost certainly would be unpalatable in a vacuum.  But for a team that will likely be in the midst of contention, I think Daryl Morey will pay up.  He will cringe doing it, I think, but he’ll put away the slide rules and the spreadsheets and he’ll turn from the math to the economics and management portions of his MBA coursework.  He’ll weigh the risk in the loss of goodwill in jettisoning a player instrumental in putting this thing together (in recruiting Dwight.)  He’ll weigh the synergistic value of continuity where one ‘whole’ in team sports is greater than evaluation of the parts; he’ll look at the risk of losing a locker-room leader and the longest tenured player on the team.  He’ll start considering the things critics said he ignores, simply because, for the first time, his team is in position for those things to be granted consideration.

While I’m not anywhere near certain, I think Morey will pay up to keep Parsons, when that time comes.  If the team wasn’t in the position it is in today, that wouldn’t be the case.

EDIT: It should be noted that these are some of the few publicly available statistics that we have at our disposal.  This does not even scrape the surface of what the Rockets have at their fingertips, not to mention their expert skill in application of the data and making sense of relevance/noise.

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Total comments: 65
  • RollingWave says 10 months ago

    Ryan Anderson is overrated at shooting 3s and Parsons will be better this season.

    We shall see, I am skeptical.

  • Buckko says 10 months ago Ryan Anderson is overrated at shooting 3s and Parsons will be better this season.
  • RollingWave says 10 months ago

    I dunno, looking at how they do in tough shots situation my general feeling is that Anderson is the better of the 2 purely in terms of 3 point shooting, I totally agree that he's a 1 way guy who's a specialist that gets taken out too easily in the playoffs, but we're talking specifically about hitting 3s here, Anderson was not exactly the second option on Orlando either, he was well behind Hedo / Lewis / Jameer in most cases.

  • Buckko says 10 months ago Ryan Anderson is a very overrated one way player who crashes in the playoffs., while parsons shot 38.5% from the 3 when he was the 2nd option and now he's the third option with even more open looks and his shots will not increase with H&H in tow.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 10 months ago Surely is a poor choice of words, but it is possible.
  • RollingWave says 10 months ago

    Well as far as I know more open, uncontested shots lead to much higher efficiency but I guess that's just facts and logic talking, nothing too much.

    you DO realize that for example, Ryan Anderson never shot 40% from 3 in Orlando ... right?

    Being more open = more likely to hit 3 is a correct theory, the problem is that there are several other counter weight when it comes to this for example

    a. taking more shots = more likely to lower efficiency

    b. random chance = can go either way

    Chandler Parsons surely hitting 40% 3 = very very theoretical.

  • Buckko says 10 months ago

    Well as far as I know more open, uncontested shots lead to much higher efficiency but I guess that's just facts and logic talking, nothing too much.

  • RollingWave says 10 months ago

    Everything is theory until it happens.

  • Buckko says 10 months ago

    Its not a theory though.

  • RollingWave says 10 months ago

    in theory yeah, but like I said, sample size variance can ruin the best theory pretty easily when regarding to % of smaller samples.

  • Buckko says 10 months ago

    Well when he will get many more open look, high efficient shots and he keeps improving, I will pencil him in for 40%+ from the three. The guys you mention were usually first option so defenses would be covering them first, but Parsons will be third/fourth option, thus getting many more uncontested shots. Its not the law of randomness, the more the rule of efficient shots.

  • RollingWave says 10 months ago

    Parsons shot 39% last season. There will be no doubt he ellipses 40%. I never said Allstar, but he still a smart, fantastic player that anyone would want, so don't underrate him. I honestly don't think our pace will decrease much when the 24sec harden ISO ball plays will become the Dwight post ups.

    You might wanna consider that 3 point percentage is a bit more fluctuate than you suspect , even great great 3 point shooters like Reggie Mill and Ray Allen had seasons where they don't hit over 40% 3s, law of randomness makes this more problematic because you don't take THAT many 3s so sample size variance is higher.

    I'm quite willing to bet that in the next 3 season there will likely be one where say.. Steph Curry doesn't shoot 40% 3.

    So in short, never pencil anyone in for 40% 3 as a given.

  • Buckko says 11 months ago

    RBF I think you meant 2.5 bpg

  • Losthief says 11 months ago

    I have absolutely NO DOUBT Howard will be a 22ppg 14rpg 1.5bpg beast with a PER in the top 10 in the league. even his free throw shooting will be better :lol:I know this is going out on a limb, but I bet he clears 60% at the line

    I have no doubt about his ability to get those numbers...i just doubt that he will...as well....he hasn't except once....and now he won't 'need' to do it. Ironically, people call Howard not a true 'winner' but I really see a guy who plays more team orienated than alot of guys in the nba. Defensively, picks, etc etc, I think alot of the 'I need to post', 'I need the ball' is his way of trying to appear as wanting to dominate offensively (due to media/peer pressure to do so), which isn't his game at its best.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 11 months ago I don't think Harden getting 25 a game is good for our team. I don't want him taking idiotic shots.
  • rockets best fan says 11 months ago

    you really sure howard's getting 20+ a game? I have doubts about that.

    I have absolutely NO DOUBT Howard will be a 22ppg 14rpg 1.5bpg beast with a PER in the top 10 in the league. even his free throw shooting will be better :lol:I know this is going out on a limb, but I bet he clears 60% at the line

  • Buckko says 11 months ago Parsons shot 39% last season. There will be no doubt he ellipses 40%. I never said Allstar, but he still a smart, fantastic player that anyone would want, so don't underrate him. I honestly don't think our pace will decrease much when the 24sec harden ISO ball plays will become the Dwight post ups.
  • thenit says 11 months ago

    Howard will get between 18-22 ppg. And adding harden at around 25, it will be nearly impossible for Parsons to get 17 ppg. There just not enough shots to go around. Counting that if Lin starts he will be in double digits as well as our PF tandem.

    I think Parsons is one of the most overrated players in the leagueATM IMO. Don't get me wrong he is very good, but he will never be an allstar. Like TTDN said, he is good enough to be in a championship team in Miami, but who wouldn't be playing with LBJ, Bosh and Wade ? Parson is the best value contract but once he gets paid between 8-10 he is not the steal anymore. His stats will also go down this year even if he becomes more efficient. Our offensive pace will also go down due to the post ups Howard will demand 10+ times a game. There a couple easy buckets that Parsons gets in transition each game that may not happen if the game slows down. Also hoping that he shoots 40% on 3s is a hard because usually there is about 20 players each year that hits that mark, and usually those are spot up shooters only.

    Parsons will become a top 10-15 SF in the league, maybe even as high as 6-7 but I don't believe he will be an all star. But that's enough if we have D12 and Harden. We don't need a 3rd star. There is only one ball on the court and each stars has a diminishing return just because there isn't enough shots to go around.

  • Losthief says 11 months ago

    efficiency is likely to increase, but one should generally note that if you have 2 guys with 20+ PPG it's extremely difficult to have a 3rd guy with 15 PPG, see the Miami Heat, Bosh barely had 15, and he's clearly a VASTLY superior offensive player to Parons, and it's likely that other guys like Lin is likely to score more PPG than Ray Allen's 10 (which was 4th on the Heat.)

    you really sure howard's getting 20+ a game? I have doubts about that.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 11 months ago He would start on Miami as he is better than Chalmers/Battier/Allen. So if he can start on a championship team, he's pretty good.
  • Buckko says 11 months ago Honestly a elite 3 and D player with fantastic basketball IQ can fit almost anywhere.
  • txtdo1411 says 11 months ago

    Perhaps, but I am of the opinion that he has not yet reached his ceiling. I would actually like to see him emulate Paul Pierce and develop his game in that fashion. I think they have similar strengths and weaknesses (Pierce has better handles, but Parsons can get there). Ultimately, a smart, savvy scorer that can play multiple positions and be a jack-of-all-trades is generally going to have a long career--even if it is bouncing around from team to team.

    Completely agree with this. I don't I think he will ever get where Pierce was at his prime, but I also think Parsons has not hit his ceiling yet. Even if he has, he will have a roster spot on an NBA team whether it is with the Rockets or another team. He will never be a teams first option, but should continue to succeed and improve as a 3rd/4th option.

  • RollingWave says 11 months ago

    yes, Pierce would be an exceptional good case for him obviously.

    As I said, if we agree that his best trait is instincts, then it may actually mean he has room to improve considering that his skill level wasn't that good coming out and has gotten a lot better since already, I too thought when he passed he made really good once, it could turn out that he could create some shots on his own anyway and that would be huge.

  • thejohnnygold says 11 months ago

    Perhaps, but I am of the opinion that he has not yet reached his ceiling. I would actually like to see him emulate Paul Pierce and develop his game in that fashion. I think they have similar strengths and weaknesses (Pierce has better handles, but Parsons can get there). Ultimately, a smart, savvy scorer that can play multiple positions and be a jack-of-all-trades is generally going to have a long career--even if it is bouncing around from team to team.

  • Freebird says 11 months ago

    Ha! Good point.

  • RollingWave says 11 months ago

    Why become a coach when you can become an actor? I'm sure the "really handsom 6'9 guy" niche is pretty vacant ;)

  • Freebird says 11 months ago

    Are you talking about Parsons becoming a coach sooner than later? If so, I think it is safe to say that is a ways off...

    Perhaps, but stranger things have happened. He has the qualities to be a decent coach is all I'm saying. I mostly wonder about his value off this particular team. I don't think he's more than an average player most other places, just due to the way he just fits in with Morey and the boys. Don't get me wrong - I like his play here, and he's intelligent, dashing, and almost as good looking as me (HA!), but I'm not sure how well he'd fit elsewhere.

  • Buckko says 11 months ago Honestly I have parsons at 17pt 6rebound and5 assists with Lin at8.5-9 assists and 12 pts.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 11 months ago

    Lol. Parsons will be in the NBA for quite some time. He might not have the handles some of the elite 3s do, but on a team like Houston/OKC/SAS, etc... you don't need those types of handles. I don't think Parsons has plateaued, but neither do I think he'll be a HOF type player. I'm just not ready to say he'll wash out of the league soon and be a coach.

  • thejohnnygold says 11 months ago

    Agree - Harden hopefully will become more efficient. The ISOs were a product of the offensive never developing, and Harden not always knowing what to do with said "offense" at the end of the clock. Hopefully, those are few and far between now.

    Parsons may not get much better than he was this past season, but that's OK. Agree - he's more glue than talent. And he's very intelligent on the court - as noted in Eby's article. I'm not sure how well that translated into $$$, tho. Maybe Battier range? I'm hoping for the 6M range, personally. Otherwise, we might ship him for picks.

    Hate to say this, but I hope he goes into coaching sooner than later. I think he'd be great as one of McHale's bench guys. Just to add another perspective. Plus, I'd rather keep him as a coach than lose him as a player.

    Are you talking about Parsons becoming a coach sooner than later? If so, I think it is safe to say that is a ways off...

  • timetodienow1234567 says 11 months ago

    Sorry about that poor grammar. My phone changes words sometimes and I don't always catch it when it does. But yeah, I don't see Parsons as having a big enough role on this team to average 17-20 points. Especially if Dwight is really going to be fed the ball down low all the time. I think Parsons has the bare minimum of talent to make the all star team but won't be able to utilize it playing with us. If Lin starts this year(not a guarantee given him and Mchale's tenuous relationship), I think he makes the all star team. Simply because we'll be a top 4 seed and his popularity in China along with Kobe's injury will make Lin start alongside Harden/Westbrook in the all star game.

  • Freebird says 11 months ago

    My hope is that Harden scores less and doesn't take as. Many contested shots. We he took too many step back threes while covered. ISO offense doesn't work as well in the postseason.

    Agree - Harden hopefully will become more efficient. The ISOs were a product of the offensive never developing, and Harden not always knowing what to do with said "offense" at the end of the clock. Hopefully, those are few and far between now.

    Parsons may not get much better than he was this past season, but that's OK. Agree - he's more glue than talent. And he's very intelligent on the court - as noted in Eby's article. I'm not sure how well that translated into $$$, tho. Maybe Battier range? I'm hoping for the 6M range, personally. Otherwise, we might ship him for picks.

    Hate to say this, but I hope he goes into coaching sooner than later. I think he'd be great as one of McHale's bench guys. Just to add another perspective. Plus, I'd rather keep him as a coach than lose him as a player.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 11 months ago My hope is that Harden scores less and doesn't take as. Many contested shots. We he took too many step back threes while covered. ISO offense doesn't work as well in the postseason.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 11 months ago If Jones/DMo can learn to shoot the three then this offense will become extremely efficient as all 3 wings can pass the ball and we will have the required floor spacing.
  • RollingWave says 11 months ago

    efficiency is likely to increase, but one should generally note that if you have 2 guys with 20+ PPG it's extremely difficult to have a 3rd guy with 15 PPG, see the Miami Heat, Bosh barely had 15, and he's clearly a VASTLY superior offensive player to Parons, and it's likely that other guys like Lin is likely to score more PPG than Ray Allen's 10 (which was 4th on the Heat.)

  • Buckko says 11 months ago RBF I'm saying parsons scoring will only go up 1.5pts. That's what his increase efficiently will do.
  • Rahat Huq says 11 months ago

    I have merged these two threads (mine and Jeby's article within the Daily) together so that this topic stays consolidated.

  • NorEastern says 11 months ago

    Let us delve deeper into Parsons ppg prospects for next season. Last season the Rockets frequently (as in about 15 times a game) used the dribble drive motion offense (DDMO). This offense has the PG and PF on the weak side at the 3 point line. The center (soon to be Howard) is offset to the weak side 6-8 feet from the basket. Parsons is on the strong side with Harden, set up for the corner trey. When Harden breaks down the shooting guard for the dribble drive there are exactly 2 defensive players with a chance to cut him off before he reaches the rim. The center guarding Howard or the small forward guarding Parsons. If the center cuts Harden off, who is at the rim waiting for a soft lob pass? Howard. Not a good situation for the defense. If the SF cuts Harden off, Parsons is wide open for the corner trey.

    Anyway, that is why I believe that Parsons will score 17 ppg.

    DDM%20shot%20chart.jpg

  • rockets best fan says 11 months ago

    I can see Parsons at 17ppg 6 boards 5 assists, 41+ 3pt% and better fg and ff percentages.

    I disagree.......I think Parsons numbers will be about the same next year as this year......he will just be more efficient getting them. everybody's shot attempts will decline except Harden's. however what it will mean is Parsons will get cleaner looks at the basket overall. that's why I think his numbers will remain the same........he will be taking a couple less shots a game, but because a lot of his shots may be uncontested his efficiency should climb

  • Buckko says 11 months ago I can see Parsons at 17ppg 6 boards 5 assists, 41+ 3pt% and better fg and ff percentages.
  • 2016Champions says 11 months ago

    Nice article. However you actually ignored his greatest strength: the corner trey. Above 50% from both sides. And you minimize his progression as an NBA player. He is only entering his third season. 17 PPG, 6 rebounds and 4 assists is a conservative prediction as to where he will be offensively next season. If he heightens his defensive effort he will be equivalent to KL. The addition of Howard should benefit every Rocket player to varying degrees. Parsons comes in just shy of Lin and Harden in that department.

    The addition of Howard should benefit every Rocket player in the efficiency department, but I don't see it benefiting Parsons in the ppg department.

  • NorEastern says 11 months ago

    Nice article. However you actually ignored his greatest strength: the corner trey. Above 50% from both sides. And you minimize his progression as an NBA player. He is only entering his third season. 17 PPG, 6 rebounds and 4 assists is a conservative prediction as to where he will be offensively next season. If he heightens his defensive effort he will be equivalent to KL. The addition of Howard should benefit every Rocket player to varying degrees. Parsons comes in just shy of Lin and Harden in that department.

  • Buckko says 11 months ago

    I really enjoyed these articles about Parsons. I do think he has reached near his ceiling but I believe he will just become a better defender and more efficient, in my opinion hitting at least 41% from the 3. He will also have a better ff% and slightly improve the assist/rebound stats. It has also been said he put on a lot of muscle so maybe he will get bounced around less.

    Now can we get individual articles about Greg Smith, Demo, and Jones please? I would really enjoy these informative articles over pointless lin/asik debates.

  • BrentYen says 11 months ago

    This is really a great read! I personally think it is somehow bad for Parsons that his value is built on his decision making. Isn't it making him easier to be neutralized in, say, playoffs. But he actually did OK last time tho.

  • rockets best fan says 11 months ago

    Jeby this is an awesome article. the combination of this and Rahat's article totally sized upParsons value to this team. I agree totally. with so much Lin and Asik talk it's refreshing to discuss the others

  • rockets best fan says 11 months ago

    great article Rahat.............I think Parsons is a glue guy. he has no defining skill set, but fills in the gaps pretty well. his ability to do several things well help balance the way the Rockets play. some nights we need a scorer, some nights a rebounder, some nights a defensive stopper. his ability to swing into any of these molds capablyis his value. as for what his next contract will look like. I am more of the mindset his agent Fegan will not be looking to give the Rockets a discount. I expect him to get around 10-11 mil a year and the Rockets will pay it, because at the end of the day you can't put a model airplane together without glue.....same can be said for the parts of a good basketball team

  • Rahat Huq says 11 months ago

    Yet you've seen him attack baskets finishing & immobilizes defenders because of his pernicious court awareness

    This was incredible.

  • ale11 says 11 months ago

    Great point. It explains a lot....

  • RollingWave says 11 months ago

    yeah, though I think one thing we may debate is that, is it really correct to assume Parsons can't improve?

    because if you look at it, he is essentially a guy who maximize his current talent due to instinct, current talent is essentially raw physical ability (tools) and skill, so what's harder? improving your current talent (tools or skills) or improving your instinct ?

    I actually think the hardest to improve is tools (nearly impossible to improve significantly.) >> Instincts (hard to improve but not impossible.) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Skills (fairly reasonable to improve in most cases.)

    If you look at Parsons coming out of college, the most striking thing is how poor his skill was for a 4 year college guy without huge physical upside . most notably, he's a wing that shot poorly from the free throw line, that almost never works out. and yet somehow it did, he got much better at the line and on the floor in general shooting in his first 2 year.

    Some guys are terrible defensively due to physical ability (read: Steve Nash) , some are terrible due to instincts (see: Al Jefferson) . Jefferson is an example of guys never really improving on that end too meaningfully in his career, it's a shame too because offensively he's something of a one man offense, you can run a decent offense with just him and little else, but the problem is that he'd also have to be one of your key defensive player just based on the merit of him being a 4/5 and that gets ugly.

    In short, I do wonder if Parsons is a case of a guy who had great instincts, so that once his skill improve a bit the results became so overwhelming apparent that he went from a 30 + pick to essentially the 3rd or 4th best player in that draft. and if that's the case, then what's to say he can't improve his skill some more? what's to say he can't improve his dribbling for example?

    We'll see, but I do like him most in that he's clearly a guy that plays within his ability. something that's easier said than done even at the NBA level.

  • Rahat Huq says 11 months ago

    I agree with this.

  • Red94 says 11 months ago New post: The Rockets Daily - September 2, 2013
    By: John Eby

    R-E-S-P-E-C-T - For as much as Tracy McGrady's career has been characterized by what he lacked--playoff success, good teammates--his retirement has revealed that T-Mac as one thing in spades: respect from his peers. Bill Simmons nails it in his Grantland piece on the subject:

    Quote:

    Tracy McGrady? He's the guy who never made it to the second round. And yet, just two weeks ago, Kobe Bryant told Jimmy Kimmel in front of 5,000 people that McGrady was his toughest opponent ever. Not LeBron, not Wade, not Pierce, not Durant. T-Mac. Was that a passive-aggressive dig at LeBron? Did Kobe really mean it? After McGrady retired this week, I couldn't resist texting Kobe to ask him. Was it true? Was T-Mac really the most talented player Kobe ever played against?

    His response: "No question."

    The cherry on top was Dwayne Wade's response to the article on Twitter:

    A Unified Theory of Chandler Parsons - Yesterday, Rahat tackled the subject of The Hair's market value, but today I'm looking at a different question: why did Chandler Parsons succeed at all? As Rahat points out, advanced metrics on Parsons are a mixed bag. His PER is average, his Win Shares are good, but his Regularized Adjusted Plus-Minus (which basically tracks how much better the team is with him on the court) is low. As you may recall, plus-minus was the Rosetta Stone to understanding why Shane Battier was valuable. But the real conundrum goes back to how Parsons not only managed to crack the rotation as a second round pick, but how he was managed to become a captain of the team.

    The tricky thing about Parsons is that he is good-not-great at just about everything. This doesn't sound strange until you look at the history of other Rockets (and NBA players in history) who have succeeded after being picked late or going undrafted. Almost all of those guys could hang their hat on one elite skill. Aaron Brooks: shooting, Chuck Hayes: post defense, Carl Landry and Luis Scola: post scoring, Greg Smith: finishing on the pick and roll. Parsons doesn't blow you away either in the eye test in any of the skill areas associated with his position: ballhandling, three-point shooting, passing or finishing at the rim.

    However, he ranks 10th at his position in both True Shooting and Assist Ratio. Now we're getting somewhere. Lets dig a little deeper into his shooting. Follow me over to 82games.com, and look at Parsons' eFG% on jump shots (.519) and his eFG% inside (.655). I compared those numbers for him against LeBron, Durant, Iguodala, Deng, Jimmy Butler, Paul Pierce, Kobe, Wade, Paul George,  James Harden and Kawhi Leonard. Only two guys were better than Parsons in both areas: LeBron and Durant. Kawhi Leonard was the only other guy who came close, and really the comparison between him and Parsons is virtually equal by this measure. In other words, only two guys are better at exploiting the basic defensive conundrum of guarding the drive or guarding the shot, and they're the two best players in the world.

    But that conclusion is not the theory.  It doesn't explain how Kevin McHale recognized a talent that dozens of scouts overlooked. It doesn't explain how Parsons puts up those numbers without textbook shooting form or deceptive handles.

    The Unified Theory of Chandler Parsons is: Chandler Parsons makes the right decision.

    He shoots at the best time to shoot, he drives at the best time to drive, and he cuts at the best time to cut. That sounds too simple. It's not. And I think I know how Houston's front office measures it. Check out this Grantland article from last March, in which Zach Lowe gets an inside look at how the Toronto Raptors use their SportVU video tracking system. Teams can use that technology to build a computer model--based on advanced metrics--of what players should do on any given play. It's similar to what a coach is doing mentally all the time, evaluating how well his players are responding to what is going on on the court.

    My theory is that Parsons does naturally what the computer would say is the most efficient decision in the vast majority of situations. He does naturally what McHale sees as the correct play, thereby earning his trust. He makes up for his lack of a single distinguishing, efficient skill by making the best choice again and again. His decision-making is his skill.

    The impact of that skill may not have shown up in his plus-minus yet, but it's something that his coaches and the front office can track play-by-play, seeing the process that they know results in success.

    So there's the Unified Theory of Chandler Parsons. The only way to truly test it is to break down every one of his plays in SportVU, and the only people with the time, money, and brains to do that are NBA front offices. The most negative ramification of the theory is that unlike, say, JaVale McGee, Parsons is already making the most of his talent and has therefore hit his ceiling. The most positive ramification is that he is exactly the guy you want playing next to two superstars, because he will always be making the best basketball decision.

    Got any sweet links or suggestions? Email them to jeby901@gmail.com or message @EbyNews on Twitter.

  • thejohnnygold says 11 months ago

    I believe he said, "Go Rockets!"

  • Buckko says 11 months ago

    I somewhat got Ferrell's message, but I wish it was a bit more coherent.

  • It's Dee Way Ferrell says 11 months ago It'$ yo boy D.ferrell, the realest Rockets fan rocking.
    I had to speak up. First off thi$ team wa$ built off Chandler Parsons & Patterson. With the acquisition of Harden, P54 became a trade asset. More only by the eye test parsons proved to be valuable. Because by the eye test, & looks can be deceiving, you get the while concept of his abilities. No he's not going to cross you over by a long shot, he hadn't perfected the triple threat, nor had he developed a plethora of low post finishes. Yet you've seen him attack baskets finishing & immobilizes defenders because of his pernicious court awareness & vision making passes. If we where to know if Parsons was better take a look back at the usa try outs. He didn't represent to me. So possibly lets say he is at max potential. He gets no better, but he can be a Robert Horry until we get a Clyde. Oh wait?! We got that. & the top center of thever last nine years. Paired also with a phenomenon of some sort & an awesomeness that makers you want to try harder to be beyer than the best. I don't blame Asik for wanting to bail at the inclination of his presence. Although you have to admit Linomenom is a phenom, it'$ just we reverse phenomenon. Say for instance he's actually the 2nd be$t player on the team, & basically forced to become a better shooter, which he did, immensely after the all star break. Say what you will I'll take him over any other point right now, think versatility, stability
    and His we aligned to relinquish his own touches. He's an upgraded Chalmers. Putting these talents on one team reminds me of the 80's Celtics, or any team from that ers basically. Lineups featuring five all star talents. Only other team boating that witj official all star caliber playets is Brooklyn. So when you look ay reach of our individual statistics, you're becoming a mold of a Daryl Morey Jr. yet you forget he does often trend to use statistic to build thi$ team but his analytics are figured into what benefits the team. Prime example all the playets signed post dwight signing may seem puzzling. Here'$ what you missing. What seems to be a lack of a blanch o's actually, diverse with skill sets & talents. Mchale pa$$ probably sees tjones as the 6th man, MIP. Kid can relieve the superstars with his talents, & would be starting everywhere else in the league. Aside from Beverley & Garcia, probably Brooks & Camby, it'$ a fight to eat at the Rockets table. Ots not a cake walk for the got aforementioned, but they have the
    inside track. Between casspi & Reggie is Ivey & Brewer. The rookies, Canaan, Covington & Young will want to push D-mo & greg to make a spot. If you see the value of offense vs. defense for the bench. Having all these talents with multiple skill sets, makes gift am interesting camp. Ferrell its going to be like watching Texans preseason.
  • RollingWave says 11 months ago

    age is an issue for him, as Ibaka is actually younger than Parsons, Ibaka's extension likely factor in that he's getting better during this stage, while Parsons when he extend is likely at his best and would be lucky if he can maintain that by the end of the contract.

    but you can look at something like this site, which quantify the worth of a player's season production.

    http://godismyjudgeok.com/DStats/aspm-and-vorp/2013-aspm/

    (it's a similar concept to RAPM but adjusted a bit differently have and interesting different result, it ends up being very high on Parsons, seeing him as a equal to Ibaka, while not so much on Asik, and it also sees Lin are being quite good despite his struggles early last year.)

  • Buckko says 11 months ago He's not getting Ibaka money.
  • RollingWave says 11 months ago

    The next year or two will make the difference. It is interesting that if he continues his freshman to sophomore improvement he actually could make an all-star game or two. Defense is another key. Can he get back to where he was as a rookie? If he does both he might become unaffordable for the Rockets.

    Well no, the Rockets have his bird rights so they can match anything or offer him anything, and frankly, when your in contention, going deep into the cap or over the luxury tax shouldn't be a concern to a profitable organization committed to winning as long as your sure this is the group your going down with. if we let Parsons go, we're looking at a massive reshuffle that will almost surely see Lin and Asik go as well (because otherwise you won't have the cap room to get anyone anyway.) which would be another transition year heading towards the end of Howard's contract, that seems to be less than idea to say the least.

    Another thing I might add is I definitely think we will resign Parsons to much less than market value, simply because I think we can all agree he loves houston and wants to be on a contender with other young guys where they are all great friends. They always talk about how they do everything together. Not to mention I think he's Mchale's favorite player.

    I doubt it, he's being represented by Fegan, who's not exactly Scott Boras (baseball agent well known to getting the biggest contracts) but certainly in the same mold, Parson may very well be highly valued by other teams especially those that is more old school in their approach (granted, those teams are getting fewer.) If he keeps up his current level and improve a little more in the next couple years he's probably getting Ibaka money.

    3.) In my judgment, in terms of overall value, Parsons is the distant fourth best Rocket behind Asik (with Lin being a distant fifth to Parsons). But I do think Parsons is a solid NBA starter and has an outside chance at becoming all-star level (at least a better chance than, say, Patrick Patterson, whom I also consider a solid NBA starter). And if we compare him to starters on the rosters of title contenders, I'd say he brings slightly more value than your Chalmers, Splitters, or Sefoloshas.

    These are 3 rather different types of players and shouldn't be lumped into one, Sefolosha is probably the most adept comp for Parsons, something between him and Ibaka. Sefolosha's actually underrated to an extend. a significant part of the reason why Harden was moved was because Thabo simply fits better with a ball dominant guard like Westbrook (sounds familiar, hmmmmm )

    Splitter is interesting and my view on him is the most mixed. he played extremely well in that flow but on the other hand you can't help to think that he doesn't actually do anything that well . he rebounds poorly for a center, he has good hands and put things back well enough but lacks any variance to his offensive game. at best that makes him a Greg Smith who can't rebound but has a solid idea where his defense is going. but sometimes "knowing where to go" is a terribly underrated skill and makes all the difference in the world.

    Chalmer is more or less just a guy, he's decent enough in what he do that he doesn't cost the Heat wins at least, the same can not be said for Norris Cole.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As for my thoughts on Parsons, it's an interesting debate, I'm leaning that he 's actually really good in what he does, and what he does is perhaps underrated overall, in the sense that, if he's your #1 option star, your screwed, your MUCH better off with Lin as your #1 scoring option than Parsons due to the shot creation issue, though watching him more I feel he actually can create a bit more than we give him credit for, but he realize that's not the role the team needs him the most at.

    But as I've noted with Splitter to an extend, being at the right place at the right time is actually the single most important NBA skill, and Parsons has that, if you watch the Rockets fast break last year it's amazing how well Parsons position himself in those situations as well as off ball cuts. it's HARD to score a lot like that, but he manage to score quite a bit.

    As i've generally brought up before, if you put 3 #1 options together, 1 of them is still going to have to play the #3 option, at which point his value greatly diminish, but Parsons played that role last year and he probably did about as well or even better than if he was the #1 option , which is a rare skill to an extend.

    My conclusion is that you can't build a good team around Parsons, BUT you can definitely win a championship with him as your starter. your not going to get a team with 5 "can build championship around" guy because those guys are rare (and once you go past two there's a huge diminishing return effect anyway.) . so the key is to have guys like Parsons around them.

  • Losthief says 11 months ago

    yeah and splitter is legit 7 foot, so that adds like 3 mil to his value baseline.

    As to your defensive question jeby, I'd posit that his help defense role increased greatly this year (due to defensively weaker teammates), leading to his 'man' he is guarding to have more success than last year. My theory with that has to do with him having to help out aggressively with the Beard's guy and the PF's guy, also teams had more tape on his weakness/where to attack.

    For the help defense, think Lebron, his defensive rapm is lower than you'd imagine, but it has also been said that Lebron is the only one that even comes remotely close to the 'shadow guys' on the new tracking system in the stadiums. The 'shadow guys' being what the analytically best position for defense being (it's almost always more help defense than players actually committ to). Because he helps so aggressively he sometimes gets burned personally, but the good for the team outweighs the costs.

    I haven't looked very much at the stats for this, but that analysis for parsons is based on the eye test from watching both years. He seems to be more team-oriented defensively rather than last year. The evidence in a quick look (this ins't at all conclusive, mearly supportive in a small way) is that opponents Offensive Rating decreased when he was on the floor versus off it even more than last year. (1.2 in 2011-12, versus 1.6 in 2012-13). Now that difference could also be who he played with/sat the bench with, and who came in to replace him, delfino wasn't the best defender in the world. So again...nothing conclusive, just really my eye test and some small statisitcal correlation.

  • Buckko says 11 months ago

    Rahat, that was an enjoyable and provoking read. Some scattered reactions:

    1.) You say that Parson's defense took a nosedive this season. Is that based on eyeball or stats or both? And in what ways specifically did his defense get worse? (I only started watching the Rockets this past season so I'm just curious.)

    2.) Could this be a Shane Battier stats-don't-tell-his-full-value type of story? The one thing stats whiff on most badly is defense and it seems that Parsons has the length, anticipation, and intelligence to be a very good wing defender, both in isolations but especially team D and pick & roll D. (I'm not thinking Pippen level or even Kawhi level, but again more like a rich man's Battier.)

    3.) In my judgment, in terms of overall value, Parsons is the distant fourth best Rocket behind Asik (with Lin being a distant fifth to Parsons). But I do think Parsons is a solid NBA starter and has an outside chance at becoming all-star level (at least a better chance than, say, Patrick Patterson, whom I also consider a solid NBA starter). And if we compare him to starters on the rosters of title contenders, I'd say he brings slightly more value than your Chalmers, Splitters, or Sefoloshas.

    I just want to say don't be fooled by Sefolosha or splitter, Both are great players, Sef is D and 3 while Splitter is a great defender(just didn't match up well with the heat) but not so much for chalmers.

  • j_wehr says 11 months ago

    Rahat, that was an enjoyable and provoking read. Some scattered reactions:

    1.) You say that Parson's defense took a nosedive this season. Is that based on eyeball or stats or both? And in what ways specifically did his defense get worse? (I only started watching the Rockets this past season so I'm just curious.)

    2.) Could this be a Shane Battier stats-don't-tell-his-full-value type of story? The one thing stats whiff on most badly is defense and it seems that Parsons has the length, anticipation, and intelligence to be a very good wing defender, both in isolations but especially team D and pick & roll D. (I'm not thinking Pippen level or even Kawhi level, but again more like a rich man's Battier.)

    3.) In my judgment, in terms of overall value, Parsons is the distant fourth best Rocket behind Asik (with Lin being a distant fifth to Parsons). But I do think Parsons is a solid NBA starter and has an outside chance at becoming all-star level (at least a better chance than, say, Patrick Patterson, whom I also consider a solid NBA starter). And if we compare him to starters on the rosters of title contenders, I'd say he brings slightly more value than your Chalmers, Splitters, or Sefoloshas.

  • Jeby says 11 months ago

    Re: the only publicly available stats.

    I have been ruminating on a Chandler Parsons Theory (I think I'll flesh it out a little in tomorrow's daily) as to why he--out of dozens of other low draft picks--has been able to become a starter. Seems like most late first/second round guys who break out have a single-separating skill. Asik/defense, Brooks/shooting, Carl Landry/post scoring. But Parsons seems to be good-not-great in every category for a wing. Buckko touched on it a bit by saying he's McHale's favorite, but it goes beyond that...

  • Buckko says 11 months ago

    Another thing I might add is I definitely think we will resign Parsons to much less than market value, simply because I think we can all agree he loves houston and wants to be on a contender with other young guys where they are all great friends. They always talk about how they do everything together. Not to mention I think he's Mchale's favorite player.

  • 2016Champions says 11 months ago

    Great read, one of my favorites so far from Rahut.

  • NorEastern says 11 months ago

    The next year or two will make the difference. It is interesting that if he continues his freshman to sophomore improvement he actually could make an all-star game or two. Defense is another key. Can he get back to where he was as a rookie? If he does both he might become unaffordable for the Rockets.

  • Buckko says 11 months ago

    I think we could get parsons cheaper on 7 or 8 million unless he greatly increases his market value because the third or fourth seasons tend to be the ones players greatly improve. People are also saying he put on a fair amount of muscle.