Tag: Carmelo Anthony

Chandler Parsons

Chandler Parsons: Rockets told me to pursue big contract, they’d match


Chandler Parsons took offense to the Rockets’ approach to free agency.

Really, he should take offense to comments by Dwight Howard and James Harden.

But Parsons is mainly irked by Houston’s search for a third star when he felt he could be that player. In the end, though, the Rockets’ decision not to match the Mavericks’ offer sheet had nothing to do with Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh. Those bigger stars were already headed back to their current teams before Houston had to decide on Parsons.

This simply came down to the Rockets not believing Parsons warranted a near-max contract.

However, their pre-free agency statements to Parsons – according to him, at least – took a different tone.

Parsons on KESN-FM 103.3, as transcribed The Dallas Morning News:

Before this whole process started, they had told me ‘You’ve earned this. You deserve this. Go and sign the best deal for your career. Just know in the back of your mind that we plan on matching.’ Throughout the process, I definitely thought they were gonna match the contract.

Maybe Rockets general manager Daryl Morey just underestimated the size of the offer sheet he’d have to match. Or maybe he was just playing nice long before facing a tough decision.

Either way, this runs counter to the idea the Rockets declined Parsons’ team option contingent on him waiting to re-sign with them. Morey apparently understood the reality of this situation: Parsons – like any player – would be foolish to pass up a huge guaranteed offer based on the promise of a similar deal later. Take the money when you know it’s there.

But between then and Parsons signing with Dallas, something changed – and the Rockets’ offseason went down the tubes.

James Harden: “Dwight and I are the cornerstones of the Rockets. The rest of the guys are role players.”

Toronto Raptors v Houston Rockets

If Chandler Parsons is looking for bulletin board material for next season, it’s going to be pretty easy to find.

First Dwight Howard said the Rockets’ loss of Parsons “won’t affect us at all.” Which is kind of what you expect Howard to say, still it’s a bit of a dis.

[MORE: Parsons ‘offended’ by Rockets’ ways]

Then James Harden took it another step. Harden is in the Philippines for an event he can’t actually play in and spoke with the Philippines Star about a variety of issues, but when asked about the loss of Parsons and other roster moves Harden said this.

“Dwight (Howard) and I are the cornerstones of the Rockets,” said Harden. “The rest of the guys are role players or pieces that complete our team. We’ve lost some pieces and added some pieces. I think we’ll be fine next season.”

We’ll see how Harden feels about role players being easily interchangeable in January after playing a few months with Trevor Ariza rather than Parsons, with Isaiah Canaan as the backup point guard for Patrick Beverley and not Jeremy Lin.

I’ll give Harden this, while the Rockets had a disappointing summer after striking out with Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh, they are not really worse than last year. I don’t like their depth as much, but if Harden and Howard can grow a little together this is as good a team as last season, maybe even a little better. Problem is that’s not enough to get the Rockets past the Spurs, Thunder and Clippers, maybe not even an improved Mavericks team.

[MORE: McHale on Rockets’ lackluster offseason: “We have to sign players”]

The one with Chandler Parsons.

I’ve got a feeling Parsons is going to go off in his first game vs. the Rockets next season.

Report: Grizzlies to hire Jeff Bzdelik as assistant coach

ACC Basketball Tournament - First Round
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Jeff Bzdelik resigned at Wake Forest – ending a college-coaching odyssey that also included stops with Colorado and Air Force – David Ramsey of The Gazette wrote of Bzdelik:

And he complained about his players. I remember several conversations with Buzzy when he wondered why one of his Falcons failed to find the nerve to take a big shot or properly box out for a crucial rebound or pass out of a double team.

Life in the NBA spoiled him. He expected players to understand the game. I almost told him, more than once, he had been hired as a basketball professor. He needed to hear the words. He struggled to see it was his job to teach basketball to these young cadets.

Consider that issue behind Bzdelik, who went 73-119 as Nuggets head coach from 2002 to 2004 when Carmelo Anthony was breaking into the league.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Bzdelik has spent a lifetime in basketball, coming up through the ranks as a college assistant, small-college head coach, NBA assistant and NBA scout.

Being an NBA head coach was probably a bit over his head. Being a college head coach didn’t seem to suit him.

This is probably the role – and he’s tried nearly all them – that fits him best.

And in Memphis, where not long ago owner Robert Pera and head coach Dave Joerger were at odds over silliness, maybe Bzdelik will serve as the Grizzlies’ head coach by the end of the season.

Report: Bulls making push to trade for Kevin Love

Kevin Love

Kevin Love is firmly on the trading block in Minnesota, thanks to his stated unwillingness to re-sign with the Timberwolves once his contract is up at the conclusion of next season.

The team would obviously like to get as much in return for Love as possible, but can only realistically trade with teams where Love would be willing to commit to staying long term.

[MORE: Cavs still in mix for Kevin Love]

Golden State got close, but wouldn’t part with Klay Thompson, and the Cavaliers, now with LeBron James in place, remain a possibility. But the Bulls are making a late push to see if they can somehow end up winners in the Kevin Love sweepstakes.

From Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com:

The Cleveland Cavaliers are firmly in the lead to acquire Kevin Love but the Chicago Bulls are making a renewed push to get into the trade mix for the All-Star power forward, according to sources close to the process. …

Sources say that the Bulls, though, have this re-entered the race and would appear to be the biggest threat to the Cavs, thanks largely to the Golden State Warriors’ resolute unwillingness to add longtime Wolves target Klay Thompson in a deal.

Although the full extent of the Bulls’ offer wasn’t immediately known, it is believed Minnesota would seek a package from Chicago featuring forward Taj Gibson and defensive ace Jimmy Butler in addition to other assets. The Bulls shelved their Love interest while trying to sign Carmelo Anthony away from the New York Knicks but, according to sources, have re-emerged as a contender.

Interesting choice for Minnesota here, although Gibson and Butler — while both being excellent rotation players — aren’t exactly going to drive ticket sales anytime soon.

The Timberwolves would rather not start over with a complete rebuild if they don’t have to, which is why the preferred deal was the one with Golden State that would potentially have returned guys like Thompson and David Lee, both of whom could immediately help produce wins in the upcoming season.

[MORE: Coach K would trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love with ‘not one second of hesitancy‘]

But if starting from scratch is the only option, Minnesota could do far worse than to land Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a future first round pick — which is why the Cavaliers, at this point, remain the leaders in the clubhouse to get a deal done to retain Love’s services.

Report: Lakers considered making a bid for restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe

Oklahoma City Thunder v Phoenix Suns

Eric Bledsoe remains the most attractive free agent still available, but the combination of his restricted status with the Suns and his desire to secure a max contract have scared teams away from coming at him hard with a realistic offer sheet.

Phoenix has said repeatedly that the team will match any offer that Bledsoe receives, and that threat seems strong enough that no one else has yet been willing to try. Any team that did sign Bledsoe to an offer sheet would have that salary count against the cap for a three-day period that the Suns would have to match, and in the early days of free agency when things were happening so fast, it’s a risk no one was willing to take.

[MORE: Top 7 free agents still available]

But there were teams that considered it, and the Lakers were reportedly among the most prominent.

From Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:

Before the Lakers decided to make an amnesty claim for Carlos Boozer, occupying more than $3.2 million on their salary cap to ensure more space next summer, NBA sources said they considered making a bid for Phoenix restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe. Although the Lakers already acquired former Harvard standout Jeremy Lin and his $14 million salary for this upcoming season, it was only to create more space next summer. Bledsoe could have been the team’s point guard of the future. Teams such as Houston and Milwaukee are considering bids for Bledsoe, who remains the biggest free agent on the market.

L.A. wasn’t shy in free agency; the team boldly went after Carmelo Anthony, of course, but didn’t seem to feel that Bledsoe was worth the four-year max contract that he is seeking. While his skill set and age might justify making such a deal, there are durability questions that raise some concerns.

Bledsoe played in just 43 games last season, and just 40 for the Clippers two years before that. Missing half of half of his NBA seasons is obviously factoring into the lack of offers he’s receiving from teams, but so is his price tag.

The Suns are likely in the same position the Jazz were in with Gordon Hayward earlier this summer, in that they’re hoping another team can sign him to a four-year offer sheet so they don’t have to pay him the full five-year max that he’s currently demanding. The market is drying up, too, with most teams having committed available cap space to others — although a sign-and-trade is always possible before an offer sheet is actually signed.

Milwaukee may still be an option if Bledsoe decides it’s all about the money, but almost no one signs up to play in a small-market, cold-weather city like that voluntarily. The Suns are likely to hold firm in not going the full five years, especially without any other teams officially in the mix.

Bledsoe could always play out next season for the qualifying offer and then become an unrestricted free agent the year after, but most players coming off of rookie scale deals like to lock up a substantial chunk of guaranteed dollars as soon as the league allows it.