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:
SG – Dante Exum, Alec Burks
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?