Like every other player with an option in their contract this offseason, Chandler Parsons is opting out of his contract hoping to cash in this summer. Unfortunately, he is coming off of an injury-plagued season where he played in just 61 games (a career-low) and averaged 13.7 points; his worst scoring average since his rookie season.
Parsons is hoping that teams forget about his nagging injuries and focus on his potential, because that’s what free agency will now be predicated on, in order for him to get that big paycheck in the offseason.
How Parsons can help the Wizards
Standing at 6’10, Parsons can play either the small forward or power forward positions. He’s a matchup nightmare as small forwards are often too small to guard him and very few power forwards are athletic enough to stay in front of him. Parsons has always shot above 45 percent from the field and has the ability to put the ball on the floor and create his own shot. 39.4 percent of Parsons’ made field goals went unassisted this past season, including this one:
The Wizards don’t have a lot of guys who can create their own shot outside of John Wall and Bradley Beal. Adding Parsons into the mix would take some of the pressure off Wall who last season, was counted on far too often to create shots for others.
He’s also a very good finisher at the rim and is able to take advantage of his 6’10” frame evidenced by his 64.9 shooting percentage from shots five feet or closer to the basket.
Scoring-wise, there’s no question he’d be an upgrade over Otto Porter.
Potential drawbacks to the Wizards signing Parsons
The Wizards are already planning on offering Bradley Beal a max deal this offseason. Doubling-down with another injury-plagued player on a max, or near-max deal is a huge risk. The Wizards would have somewhere between $40M-$50M annually tied up in two players who have been unable to stay healthy for an entire season. That has disaster written all over it.
In addition, it would be hard for the Wizards to convince Otto Porter to stick around long-term if the Wizards sign Parsons. Porter has consistently improved every year he’s been in the league. And let’s not forget, Porter is entering a contract year himself so he is going to be looking to cash in by next summer. If the Wizards sign Parsons to a long-term deal, it would be hard to justify paying Porter big bucks to be a reserve.
In addition, signing Parsons would likely delay Kelly Oubre’s development another year as he’d likely receive little to no minutes as the third small forward on the roster. Can the Wizards’ faithful go another year with Kelly Oubre riding the bench and only playing in garbage time?
If Parsons can stay healthy for an entire season, he would be a nice bonus for this team. That’s a big “if” as he’s failed to stay healthy for an entire season during his five-year career. Financially, the Wizards would be giving a lot of money to another injury-plagued player And let’s not forget that Parsons is 27 years old even though he’s only entering his sixth year in the NBA.
Parsons works out in the short-term as you can plug him in and he’ll be able to contribute right away. However, if the Wizards are going to go all-in on their small forward of the future; Otto Porter makes more sense. Signing Parsons would not only bury Kelly Oubre on the bench but would marginalize Porter by cutting into his minutes. As Porter continues to improve, he’ll need more and more minutes to grow his confidence. Signing Parsons would stunt that growth unless the Wizards played super small-ball with a frontcourt of Porter-Parsons-Morris.
Lastly, Porter is just 23 years old, four years younger than Parsons. I can’t imagine Parsons’ ceiling getting too much higher whereas Porter still has time and the luxury of playing with the same core of players for several years to aid his growth. If the Wizards are going to commit to a small forward of the future, Porter should be that guy.