Mark Cuban and Chandler Parsons apparently celebrating his offer sheet (photo)

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Chandler Parsons planned to sign an offer sheet with the Mavericks. That was known.

But the timing was critical.

Mark your clock at 1:02 a.m. — give or take a few minutes when Parsons actually signed the deal and Dallas emailed it to the Rockets.

I figure Mark Cuban and Parsons didn’t celebrate until that was done.

The Rockets have 72 hours to match. If they match, Parsons counts against the cap at his 2014-15 salary ($14,746,000 if a max offer sheet), and Houston is essentially out of the picture for elite free agents like Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh. (Melo is probably unavailable regardless.)

Until then, Parsons’ cap hold is $2,875,130. That gives the the Rockets, especially if they trade Jeremy Lin, leeway to work.

Essentially, Houston has three days to pare down its roster and then convince Bosh to accept less than a max contract.

How many players do the Rockets need to deal? How much can they convince to Bosh to sacrifice? Can they convince him to leave Miami at all?

If the Rockets want to keep Parsons, they have 72 hours to answer those tough questions and then match Dallas’ offer.