Chandler Parsons was the marquee free agent acquisition for the Mavericks this summer, who signed him to a three-year contract worth more than $46 million that the Rockets called “untradeable,” and decided not to match.
Because of the fact that he was after a new deal, Parsons didn’t push himself too hard in workouts in the early part of the offseason; an injury, after all, would have severely affected the new contract he was seeking.
He came to training camp bulkier than expected, and Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle mentioned the fact that “bulkier” to him meant that Parsons was out of shape.
This wasn’t a big deal, because many players use training camp and the preseason to work themselves into shape. But it may be becoming one, because Carlisle is hammering Parsons about it on a daily basis.
For the second time since the Mavs reported to camp, Carlisle made a point to note that Parsons needs to shed weight. …
“He looked tired out there tonight to me, and his shot is short,” Carlisle said. “He’s working on losing some weight. He’s a little bit heavier than he’s been. He’s up over 230, and we want to see him get down to at least 225. That’s a work in progress, and tonight’s one of those nights where I think the extra weight was a hindrance.” …
“His opinion of heavy is different than mine,” said Parsons, who was 1-of-6 from 3-point range against the Thunder. “We kind of go at it every day about it. At the end of the day, I respect his opinion. After training camp, my weight fluctuates. I’ll get it down.”
Carlisle is one of the more open coaches in the league when it comes to publicly discussing player issues he believes are negatively affecting his team, so to a certain extent, this is simply how he handles things. He went on to say he “doesn’t mean to call him out in public or ridicule him,” but it’s unclear if Parsons is viewing all of the attention on his weight in the same way.
The Mavericks have every right to demand that the player they just handed a large free agent contract to is in peak physical condition. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it, and it’s worth wondering if Carlisle’s approach is putting an unnecessary strain on this very new relationship.