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Report: Chandler Parsons to opt out of Mavericks contract


Chandler Parsons has a player option on what was nearly a max contract when he signed it in 2014. He’s coming off his worst season since his rookie year. And he missed the end of the season with troubling knee issues.

Would he really opt out?

Welcome to 2016 NBA free agency.

Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News:

Chandler Parsons already has said he will exercise his option to become a free agent this summer.

Parsons’ player option is worth $16,023,000. His max salary in free agency will be more than $20 million.

With the salary cap skyrocketing to about $92 million and so many players locked into low old-money contracts, this summer will be a spending bonanza. So many teams will have cap room, Parsons will almost certainly get a raise. In fact, he’ll probably get a max contract. His knee presents a risks, but at age 27, Parsons will probably convince a team shut out of better free agents to take a risk. His window for being healthy and productive is still open, and he started playing well before getting hurt.

The Mavericks could keep Parsons, though him opting out provides flexibility to explore the market. Justin Anderson‘s ability to handle an increased role as the season progressed also provides cover for letting Parsons walk.

Dallas projects to have about $24 million in cap space (counting cap holds for Chandler Parsons, Deron Williams and Dwight Powell). In other words, the Mavericks could spend that $24 million then exceed the cap to re-sign Williams, Parsons and/or Powell. Renouncing Parsons ($19,969,950 cap hold), Williams ($6,454,769 cap hold) and/or Powell ($1,180,431 cap hold) could give Dallas even more space to chase stars.

Expect the Mavericks to keep one foot in pitching Parsons to return, the other in looking for upgrades. Even if Dallas doesn’t work out, Parsons should have options elsewhere – unless his knee causes major concern in physicals. That’s the risk here, but you hope he got proper medical evaluations before making this decision.

Watch Jerry West’s emotional memories of trading for/his relationship with Kobe Bryant

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Jerry West has never understood why people thought he was brilliant for recognizing the talent of a 17-year-old Kobe Bryant coming out of high school. To him it was obvious.

If it had been obvious (and if that era had not frowned on the development that came with drafting high school players), Kobe wouldn’t have been a Laker, and NBA history might be very different.

For West, Kobe was not just another player, he was like a son. West talked about it on the well done TNT special commemorating Kobe Tuesday night.

What those neatly packaged TNT clip does not show is just how difficult and emotional it was for West to talk about Kobe.

West has had a life of incredible highs, but also more lows and pain than many — abused by his father and battling depression his entire life — and this is another emotional tax on the NBA legend.

Joel Embiid returns to Philadelphia rotation after nine-game absence

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When you saw the image of Joel Embiid‘s dislocated ring finger facing a direction no finger should face, you knew he was going to miss some time (even though he had it taped up and returned to that game). Embiid had surgery to repair a torn radial collateral ligament on the ring finger of his left hand. Ultimately he missed nine games while he recovered.

Tuesday night against the Warriors, Embiid will be back.

He will have a soft wrap on his left hand that has been cleared by the league.

Philadelphia went 6-3 while Embiid was out.

Ben Simmons stepped up — in his last five games (before Tuesday) he averaged 24 points a game on 70.6 percent shooting, plus 10 rebounds and 8.6 assists a game. Without Embiid in the paint or taking up touches, Simmons took over the offense and looked much more comfortable in his role.

However, the Sixers’ offensive rating in those nine Embiid-less games was 104.9, 29th in the NBA (even in the last five it was 103.2, still 29th in the league). Simmons may have been playing better but the offense was not.

When Simmons and Embiid share the court this season, their offensive rating is 106.7 — not great, but better than without Embiid playing.

Victor Oladipo returns to Pacers Wednesday, likely off bench with minutes limit

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Indiana has gone 30-17 this season and sits as the five seed in the Eastern Conference — and Wednesday they get their best player back.

Victor Oladipo — the former Most Improved Player and All-NBA team member who has been out for most of a year with a right quad tendon rupture — practiced with the Pacers on Tuesday and, as expected, will make his return to the court Wednesday night against the Bulls.

Coach Nate McMillan would not say how he planned to use Oladipo but, considering the minutes limit, off the bench seems the most likely move. McMillan said the team would revisit the minutes and role after the All-Star break.

While Milwaukee has separated itself atop the East, the next five teams — Miami, Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia, and Indiana — are all within 2.5 games of each other and could end up in any order. If Oladipo can return close to the All-NBA form he was in prior to his injury, the Pacers become a big threat to break out of that group. If nothing else, they become a much tougher out in the postseason.

Giannis Antetokounmpo out for Bucks-Wizards (shoulder)

Giannis Antetokounmpo
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Giannis Antetokounmpo is on track to repeat as Most Valuable Player.

So, any game he misses is notable.


Expect to see more Ersan Ilyasova and D.J. Wilson. With the trade deadline approaching, this could even be a showcase game for Wilson.

Milwaukee is still favored over the Wizards. The Bucks have outscored opponents by 7.8 points per possession without Antetokounmpo this season. They’re deep.

Of course, anything can happen. It’s only one game in a long NBA regular season.

Which might something to do with Antetokounmpo sitting. Even if he plays in Milwaukee’s next game, vs. the Nuggets on Friday, he’ll get six straight days off. That’s a nice break.