The Dallas Mavericks made an aggressive, bold play to get Chandler Parsons out of Houston. They signed him to a three year, $46 million offer sheet (with a player option in the third year and a 15 percent trade kicker) and, after a short delay to discuss a sign-and-trade deal that fell apart, presented that offer to the Rockets.
Here’s why that’s a brilliant stroke:
Houston had 72 hours from the time they got the offer to match. Houston also has a proposed max offer for Chris Bosh out there — but Bosh is not making a decision until LeBron James does because if LeBron goes to Miami Bosh is going back, too. Houston does not have the cap space to match Parsons then make its offer to Bosh. Instead they have to make a series of trades to move Jeremy Lin and others to clear out cap room, sign Bosh to a near max deal then they can match Parsons, but that is going to be a lot to get done in the little more than 48 hours left. The clock is ticking and Houston may have to choose Parsons or gamble on Bosh.
Dallas has made sacrifices here too.
To clear out cap room for the Parsons offer Dallas had to renounce their Bird rights (and remove the cap holds) for Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter.
That’s not a big deal in this sense — they can still re-sign those guys. What it means is they can’t offer the oversized home-team contracts and can’t go over the cap to sign those guys. However, Nowitzki already said he was returning to the Mavericks at a discount, so that is moot — they can sign him to a three year contract in the $10 million range (our own Dan Feldman projects if Dallas gets Parsons and renounces other players still on roster, then back load Devin Harris’ contract the most Nowitzki can make for three years is $29,542,328).
If Dallas gets Parsons they will use the remaining cap space they have to get Harris and Nowitzki signed.
But that means they can use the room exception (two years, $2.7 million per year) for Carter or Marion, then the other gets a minimum offer at best.
Both of those guys had good years and will have other teams making calls and inquiring. If Marion gets a minimum contract offer from Dallas but also gets one from Miami or Cleveland (whatever LeBron chooses) will he go chase a ring there? What if another team with cap space comes in a little over the minimum, or offers their biannual exception?
Obviously, as good as Carter and Marion played for Dallas last season, Parsons brings a lot more to the table and younger. But Dallas wanted both those guys back and if Parsons arrives there will be questions. (If Houston matches, Dallas will have room to make better offers.)