According to multiple reports, the Rockets have opted to allow Chandler Parsons to go to Dallas, choosing not to exercise their option to match the three year, $46 million pact he signed three days before. Parsons will join Dirk Nowitzki, Mark Cuban, and the rest of the Mavericks in Dallas, taking on a larger role than what he had in Houston behind James Harden and Dwight Howard.
Replacing him is Trevor Ariza, signed to a four year deal that is worth $32 million. He now will be the Rockets' starting small forward, and hopefully with a lesser role his second time around will be more successful than the first. He shot over 40% from three last season, is a better defender than Parsons, but is much older and has much less upside than his predecessor, who was just entering his fourth season.
Going into the summer, the decision to decline the option on Parsons was a bit of a head scratcher, but if the Rockets were confident in their ability to sign a max free agent, guaranteeing the right to retain Parsons made a modicum of sense. Now, it's clear that forgoing the fourth year in his deal was a huge miscalculation.
There is no sugarcoating this: Declining that fourth year is the biggest mistake in Morey's tenure as the Rockets GM. He had arguably the highest value contract in the league for 2014-15, and he gave it up, losing one of his best young players in the process. After watching Parsons waltz to Dallas, that move is extremely costly.
If Ariza can replicate his season from last year with the Rockets, Parsons will not be missed too badly, but if he regresses to his historical figures, the Rockets will have a hole in the lineup at small forward.