Mar 17, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons (25) attempts to drive the ball around Utah Jazz guard Gordon Hayward (20) during the first quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Should the Utah Jazz pursue Chandler Parsons?

Since before the NBA Free agency period began, the focus for the Utah Jazz has been on restricted free agent, Gordon Hayward. However, another restricted free agent, Chandler Parsons, should be catching the eye of the Jazz front office.

Parsons, who has been gaining interest from quite a few teams, was hoping to re-sign a long term contract with the Houston Rockets. However, on Monday, the Rockets reportedly offered unrestricted free agent, Chris Bosh, a 4-year, $88 million contract that he is reportedly “strongly considering”.

If in fact Bosh were to accept the offer from Houston, that would give the Rockets three players taking up the majority of their salary cap. James Harden will make $14,728,884 next season, while Dwight Howard will rake in $21,436,271. If Bosh accepts, add in his salary, which would be roughly between $20 – $22 million next season. Between those three players, the Rockets would be roughly around $57 million on their salary next season.

With the projected cap space to be at $63.2 million, the Rockets would not have a ton of money to go around for other free agents, especially not enough money to re-sign Parsons.

With that being said, should the Jazz make an offer to Parsons? I think they should, and here is why.

Parsons has referred to himself as being the “best small forward in the NBA”. That may not exactly be true, but Parsons is pretty good. If you look at his stats last season, Parsons averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game. Those numbers are similar to Hayward’s numbers last season, however, Parson averaged more points and rebounds per game than Hayward, and is only finishing up his third season in the NBA, while Hayward just wrapped up his fourth.

Let’s not just look at last season, let’s take a look at each player’s first three seasons in the league.

In his first three seasons, Parsons is averaging 14.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.3 assists, while shooting 47.3% from the field, and 37.0% from beyond the three point line.

In his first three seasons, Hayward averaged 10.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assists, while shooting 45.9% from the field, and 41.1% from beyond the three point line.

While Hayward has come off a season where he was only one of four players to average better than 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, Parsons has had a better start to his NBA career, statistically wise, in Houston.

Aside from the statistics, there is another reason, I believe, that the Jazz should consider Parsons. In Houston, Parsons is coming from a team that liked to run the floor and shoot the basketball. The Jazz are coming off a season, where they had one of the slowest paced half court offenses in the NBA. With new head coach, Quin Snyder, coming in, his focus for the offensive end, is to get up and down the floor quickly, spread the offense, and put shooters on the floor. Parsons would fit that role in Snyder’s offense.

Parsons, while averaged more rebounds per game than Hayward in his first three years, did the majority of his rebounding on the defensive end, averaging 4.1 defensive rebounds per game. Hayward, in his first three seasons, averaged 2.1 defensive rebounds per game.

If the Jazz were to consider Parsons, with his 6’9″ 200 pound frame, and experience of playing the role in Houston, can slide over and play in a “stretch four” type fole as well. He shoots well enough to spread the offense, and can defend most power forwards. If he were to be on the Jazz roster next season, it could look something like this:

PG – Trey Burke, John Lucas III

SG – Dante Exum, Alec Burks

SF – Chandler Parsons, Rodney Hood

PF – Marvin Williams (?), Steve Novak, Jeremy Evans

C – Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Rudy Gobert

The majority of Jazz fans have been pretty vocal about how they believe that Hayward is a good player, but is not worthy of a max contract offer. If Hayward isn’t worthy of it, is Parsons?

Which player would you offer a max contract to if you were in the Utah Jazz front office?

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Tags: Chandler Parsons Gordon Hayward NBA Free Agency Utah Jazz

  • CBake7

    Sign both Hayward and Parsons.

    PG Burke, Exum, Lucas III (waste of money)

    SG Hayward, Burks, Exum

    SF Parsons, Hood, Hayward

    PF Favors, Evans, Novak, Parsons

    C Kanter, Gobert, Favors

    • polljc

      I like that except I make room for Ryan Kelly as another stretch 4.

      • CBake7

        I think if they were going to get Ryan Kelly then they should’ve passed on Novak.

    • fastfox1306

      I toyed with that idea too…however that is some major money being allocated to Hayward, Parsons and Favors this season. You better be sure those three guys can carry your team to the playoffs if you pay that money. If they’re all on 4 year deals it could be a nice experiment before you actually have to pay Burke, Exum & Hood in the future. It may hurt your chances of extending or re-signing Burks and Kanter in the immediate future though. I wouldn’t do it unless I for sure could extend Burks too. I have flip-flopped on Kanter too many times to count. I am giving him one more season to see if I want to keep him around. The issue with him is he is too raw still and Corbin/KOC/shoulder injury did him no favors in his development.

      • CBake7

        All very great points! The thing that scares me now is that technically we are in the same boat with Exum. He’s young and inexperienced, we are all really excited about potential and skills that we’ve never seen (I guess Utah is full of people of faith though). I actually think they’ll give Kanter more time to progress by giving him a new deal.

        In a different idea, what do you think about a S&T with Pistons (Hayward for Monroe) and then signing Parsons?

        • fastfox1306

          I honestly haven’t seen much of Monroe, but I think losing Hayward regardless is a major mistake. I think he’ll be a multiple all-star player in the very near future. Whether that is optimism or insanity, I am not sure, I just think he’s going to be a great player in the correct system.

          I think that deal helps Detroit more than the jazz. They have a logjam with Drummond, Monroe and Smith (who is NOT a SF in any way, shape or form). If the jazz get Monroe, what do they do with him, Favors and Kanter?

          • aussiejazzfan

            I concur

        • fastfox1306

          Also on Exum, I think (maybe more hoping) that he is on a different tier than any other Jazz rookie before him. He seems like he could be a bonafide superstar. Not only in the NBA, but worldwide. Here’s to hoping A.) that he is the real deal and B.) the jazz do NOT screw it up!

    • aussiejazzfan

      You’ve got kanter and favors around the wrong way

  • polljc

    I would counter by asking why more teams, then are not clam morning after Parsons knowing he may be more singable than Hayward whom the Jazz say they will match/retain?

  • fastfox1306

    I am extremely high on Hayward. I think he can be an all-star and a #1 option on a fringe playoff team. On a contending team I think he is a #2 option. I choose him over Parson mainly because I think Hayward is the better player and he is younger with more ceiling to reach. In the end I think neither of them get offered Max contracts, though Charlotte is a wild card. They have to offer major money to get talent (a la Jefferson) and so far that strategy has paid off in spades for them.

  • ScotsJazzFanIn London

    The thing with Parsons is ( and I like the guy a lot) he is on a team that has a scoring machine in James Harden, the closest we have to that is Burks and he is playing our sixth man role. I love Favors and I think given time he could be really good defensively but right now he doesn’t have the focus on him offensively that Howard does. There is a reason that teams play hack-a-howard he puts himself in situations where defences can play to his weaknesses. On a team with these big players on it Parsons doesn’t get the defensive attention that Hayward has when he is targeted as our number one scoring option. Parsons has also played with better PG’s over teh years he has been in a Rockets jersey…Dragic, Lowry, Lin they are all decent PG’s better than what the Jazz and have had a greater scoring threat than anything the Jazz have had available to play in the same position since Deron left and all run the ball quicker than Burke did his first year….I wonder who would have had the the better figures if they played under the same conditions……………………….

    • aussiejazzfan

      Well said mate. Smart thinking too I believe Hayward to be a much better player and far more versatile

  • jezzy

    Don’t know why you consistently have Burks as the 6th man. Just because our previous (incompetent) coach started Richard Jefferson over him for 78 games, does not mean that he should be on the bench.

  • jezzy

    By years end Exum should be starting at point. Burke, besides assist turnover ratio, hasn’t proven anything to deserve to be entrenched as the starter.