So if I received any criticism about Jeremy it was that I was too soft on him. I'm ok with that because we're about to pick up the one player all Rockets fans have deference to; the man, the myth, the ridiculously valuable legend, Mr. Chandler Parsons. Chandler holds down the small forward position for the Rockets, often pulls the offense's best player as his assignment, and saw further improvement from his rookie season.
Chandler was a second round pick of the Houston Rockets in 2011 draft. Since arriving on the scene in Houston Chandler stepped in to the starting small forward position after the Shane Battier trade. This writer has to eat some crow at this point. I projected Chandler would max out as an athletic Shane Battier but we've seen so much more from him in a year when scouting tape was fully available. Generally fourth year college players don't have a huge ceiling but Chandler has defied all of these conventions and I, for on, am ecstatic to admit that I was wrong. If you can't see how all of this praise is going to lead to his grading then I'm afraid I can't show my cards any harder...
Chandler averaged 16 points/5 rebounds/4 assists per game. In his second year Chandler's usage barely changed (Up 2% to 18.3) but his efficiency and contribution spiked in a major way. Chandler's true shooting percentage jumped to 58% up from 51 and his win shares on the season more than doubled from 3.4 to 7 on the season. Yet another shock in the defensive rating category similar to Jeremy's stood out to me, however. Chandler allows 108 points per 100 possessions however much of that can be attributed to guarding the Lebron James of the league where no matter how good a defender you are you are giving up 30 points. Chandler saw his rebound rate decrease from his rookie season (down 1% of available rebounds to 8.3) to his sophomore year but he did punch his assist percentage up 4% giving him some trade off. Chandler posts a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 15.33
This isn't really stat related but let's appreciate the most important number for Chandler. Parsons earns $888,250.00 per season. Chandler's impact on the Rockets is comparable to most other small forwards in the NBA but it gets even more interesting when you consider PER in relation to the rest of the league. Chandler edges out Luol Deng and Andre Iguodala in this department at a fraction of a fraction of the price. Hold on to that.
The sophomore slump does not apply to Chandler. I fully expected Chandler to experience a downturn in his productivity this season. Generally a breakout rookie season is followed by some struggles in the sophomore season since scouting tape is available and there are no real quirks to hide your game behind anymore. Chandler stormed out of the gate his rookie season and then increased his totals by 6 points, .5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. He flourished next to James Harden and helped spark the new look Houston Rockets to their first playoff win in three years. Chandler was at the center of all the new chemistry with Jeremy Lin and James Harden and did all this while missing time for a triple double of corn dogs, beer, and tater tots.
Was there any? My initial inclination was to look at his shooting percentages but nearly 50% from the field, 40% from the three-point line, and 73% from the line is nothing to scoff at. He's no Lebron James but I don't see much of a weakness in his game at all.
Nothing about Chandler Parsons is ugly.
Chandler has quickly become the heart of the Rockets. He's the most tenured member of the good guys and the only fully relevant player that Daryl Morey saw fit to keep around once the roster underwent a severe makeover. Morey is a firm believer in moving players at their peak value, which may not bode well for Parsons (Although he has stated that his daughter would never forgive him for moving him). Chandler will be due a major raise once his rookie deal expires and if the Rockets still have any combination of Harden, Asik, and Lin around I do feel as though Parsons is critical to keep. The amount of bonding, production, and synergy that Chandler has enabled is a major contributor to the success the Rockets saw this year.