Chandler Parsons has signed an offer sheet from the Dallas Mavericks for a contract that would pay him “in excess” of $US45 million over the next three seasons according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
As a restricted free agent, the Houston Rockets have three days to match the offer. But no matter what the Rockets decide to do, Parsons is going to be paid more than $US15 million per season on average.
Parsons is a good player, averaging 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game last season. But $US15 million is a lot of money for a player that is not a superstar, is considered a complimentary player, and has never played in an All-Star game.
Consider that his would-be teammate, Dirk Nowitzki, will make just $US10 million per season over the next three years and LeBron James’ average salary over the last four years with the Heat was $US16.8 million.
What Parsons does have is the perfect recipe for being overpaid in the NBA.
Parsons is good. But he is not an unrestricted free agent and not good enough that the Rockets have given him a long-term contract that eats up precious cap space.
So why did the Mavs overpay for Parsons? Because they had to.
Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson told ESPN.com that they identified Parsons as a player that is a “really good fit” for their roster.
But the Mavs could not make a fair offer to Parsons. Any reasonable offer would be quickly matched by the Rockets.
If the Mavs really want Parsons, the only way to get him was to make an offer that the Rockets are not willing to pay. In other words, the Mavs have to knowingly make an offer that other teams would consider foolish in order to add a player Dallas considers a potential difference-maker.
In a league that underpays its superstars, somebody has to be overpaid. Players like Parsons show that it is good to be a restricted free agent in the NBA.
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