Ladies and gentlemen, judgement day is near.
First broken by ESPN’s Marc Stein, Dallas has agreed to a 3 year, $45 million offer sheet with Chandler Parsons.
ESPN sources say Mavericks and Rockets RFA Chandler Parsons have reached agreement on three-year offer sheet worth in excess of $45 million— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 9, 2014
The contract also includes a player option that Daryl Morey notoriously hates.
This was always a calculated risk. They forego the last year of Parsons’ bargain contract to ensure they have max flexibility and a modicum of control of Parsons free agency. However, they may have underestimated the market for young capable wing players. The moment Gordon Hayward received a max offer from the Charlotte Hornets, It was all but inevitable that Chandler Parsons would receive something similar.
So the doomsday clock for the Rockets starts here. Houston entered the off-season confident that they could bolster the roster with one of the available max level stars. They now stare down the barrel of possibly striking out on all major free agents and perhaps losing one of their most productive core players.
Chandler Parsons expects to sign his offer sheet at 12:01 Thursday. Rockets have a 3 day window to assemble the formidable starting line up they envisioned complete with Chandler Parsons, or possibly decide on letting a productive young player go to a division rival. Once Houston decides to match the offer sheet, the max contract room that the Rockets can create goes "poof!" Even If the Rockets do not match, the probability of landing a max player along with a wing of Chandler Parson's quality becomes very low.
The lack of a definitive decision from Lebron James tonight is a critical blow to the Rockets. Chris Bosh, the now number 1 target for the Rocket, has made it clear that his decision is directly tied to Lebron’s decision, and with LeBron set to watch the final match of the World Cup in Brazil on Sunday, It seems that Lebron is in no hurry to make a decision.
What Houston does over the next 2 days will speak volumes about their off-season plan. If you see accelerated movement to clear the roster, then the Rockets are still very confident about bringing in a star, and Chandler Parsons is likely still part of the plan. If no significant movements are made, then the Rocket could have other plans, plans that may not include Chandler Parsons. Rockets are reported to be in contact with veteran wings Trevor Ariza, Luol Deng and Paul Pierce.
Deep breaths, everybody, and prepare yourself for anything.