Chandler Parsons wants more playing time. Unfortunately for him, barring injury, that probably will not happen anytime soon.
Parsons was acquired by the Hawks this past offseason for Solomon Hill and Miles Plumlee, essentially a swap of bad expiring contracts. The money was almost equal, but the Hawks opened up a roster spot and added a tick of upside, with the Grizzlies thinking perhaps by dividing Parsons’ contract into two, it would be easier to move the money elsewhere. That has not happened.
Unlike Hill and Plumlee, Parsons earned his big deal. Coming out of Florida, he was one of the hottest young players in his early career during his time with the Rockets and then the Mavericks. But injuries hit, and he was never the same. Now, in a contract year, Parsons wants to prove he can contribute to an NBA team in some capacity, and he is frustrated with his playing time:
Parsons, via Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype:
“It sucks. It really sucks. Obviously, I want to play. I want to help. I’m healthy and I’m in a contract year, so I want to show the team that I’m healthy and I can play and I can definitely help this team win. But at the same time, I understand the objective here and I understand the operation and knowing that development, so I’m just staying ready.
I’m the most healthy I’ve been in a long time. I’ve just got to sustain that and keep managing it. My knees feel great, my body feels great. Hopefully, it’s just a blessing in disguise that I’m not playing now and I’ll be ready.
I think anybody with a brain in my situation would have taken the contract. It’s funny. People that are hating on it, if they were in my shoes or if their son was in my shoes, they would have told them to do the same thing. Right? Should I have predicted that I was going to be hurt and took less or took half the money? That’s psychotic.
I think just to get on a team next year, on a financial friendly deal, it changes the whole look of you to the fans as well as the media and everything. You see a lot of guys that do that. Dwight Howard on a max deal was awful. Dwight on an interim deal is phenomenal. Someone like Andre Iguodala, when he goes to say, the Lakers for minimum, he’s going to be this huge value and people are going to love him. That’s just how it goes.”
Yes, Parsons would have been a fool to not take that contract – no doubt about it. He did start the year restricted due to injury but has played just a hair over 40 minutes all season. The thing is, none of this is on him. The Hawks went out and drafted two young wings in De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish – guys that require playing time for the long term development of this team – pairing them with DeAndre’ Bembry and Kevin Huerter – two other wings with potential in their own right.
Parsons was asked a question, so it is hard to criticize him for his honesty. It does not take a rocket scientist to know any NBA player who has been a borderline star will struggle with having to log DNPs. As things stand, Parsons is likely looking at taking a league-minimum deal this offseason, but that is not to say he can’t be a productive bench player if he can stay healthy. For now, he will need a few dominos to fall in his favor if he wants a role in Atlanta.