For the last two years, much has been made of Chandler Parsons and his contract. Many have called him the most underpaid player in the league, and he was expected to keep that throne for another season. Not so fast, Yahoo! Sports reports, as Adrian Wojnarowski is writing that the Rockets will decline his team option to make him a free agent this summer.
I for one believed that the Rockets would pick up the option, keeping Parsons under contract for another season before giving them a chance to sign him to a massive contract next summer, but this move makes a lot of sense on a number of levels. Firstly, it guarantees the Rockets the chance to retain Parsons if they are so inclined, with his restricted free agent designation allowing the Rockets to the right of first refusal on any contract. Moreover, it gives the Rockets a number of improved options on the trade front, as they can now sign-and-trade him away to New York or Minnesota if Carmelo Anthony or Kevin Love present themselves as realistic options.
Because of the imbalance between Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin's salaries and cap hits, their contracts would difficult to use for salary matching purposes in a trade, and without any other significant contracts on the books other than Howard and Harden, a big deal might be difficult. Now, with Parsons potentially as a chip in a sign-and-trade (which he would have to consent to), the Rockets are better equipped to make a big deal happen.
The Rockets are going to shoot for the stars this summer, but there is still little chance any deal for Anthony or Love will come to fruition. At the very least, the Rockets have locked up Parsons if they are so inclined. For that, the ladies of Houston are forever grateful.