With the Rockets seemingly focusing all of their attention on free agents like Carmelo Anthony and Kyle Lowry, restricted free agent Chandler Parsons seems to have gone by the wayside as he is out setting his own market and meeting with other teams. However, on a day in which the Rockets made their big pitch to Anthony, Dwight Howard discussed Parsons' future, indicating that he has little doubt the small forward will be back.
This, from Jonathan Feigen:
Interesting listening to Dwight after the Melo lunch talk about Parsons as certain to be back. "I don't think it's a question mark."— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 2, 2014
To be fair, the Rockets have made little indication that they will do anything but retain Parsons, but there has been little news on contract talks with the Rockets or any other team. Parsons was reportedly asked to be part of Carmelo's greeting party, and more importantly, it makes no sense for the team to turn down a team option for this season if they don't expect him to return.
The only question is how thrilled he will be to accept a lesser role with the team. It's not clear whether the Rockets would play Anthony at the four with Parsons at the three, or keep Anthony at small forward and bring Parsons off the bench as a super sub. For a player of Parsons' caliber, it might be difficult to stomach a demotion to the bench after two excellent seasons as a starter that saw him join some of the group of the league's best young players. Perhaps, after a run as a role player, Parsons might seek a bigger spotlight for himself.
According to Howard, that does not seem to be a concern. If all goes according to plan, the Rockets will sign Anthony, retain Parsons on whatever contract he is offered, and then make a play for a veteran free agent with the room exception.