Source: Chandler Parsons, Dallas Mavericks will definitely part ways

ByTim MacMahon ESPN logo
Friday, July 1, 2016

Forward Chandler Parsons and the Dallas Mavericks will definitely part ways after two seasons together, a source told ESPN.

"No chance," the source said when asked if there were any possibility that Parsons re-signs with the Mavs.

The divorce comes after the Mavs made it clear they had no intention to offer a maximum contract to Parsons, whose two seasons in Dallas both ended prematurely due to surgeries on his right knee.Parsons expects to sign a max deal and said as much during a recent question-and-answer session with fans on Twitter. A max contract for Parsons with the Mavs, who own his early Bird rights, would have been worth $98.8 million over four years. Other teams can offer him $94.8 million over four years.

Parsons will meet with a Portland Trail Blazers contingent including Damian Lillard in Los Angeles when free agency officially begins at 12:01 a.m. ET Friday, according to league sources. The Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic are among suitors for Parsons, sources said.

Mavs owner Mark Cuban attempted to talk Parsons, his partner in last summer's ultimately unsuccessful attempt to recruit center DeAndre Jordan to Dallas, into opting into the final season of the three-year, $46 million deal the forward signed after spending his first three seasons with the Houston Rockets. Sources said Parsons never seriously considered picking up the option, confident that he would receive a significant raise and long-term deal this summer, with versatile, playmaking forwards in high demand and short supply.

The Mavs responded by planning to put Parsons on the back burner to begin free agency, which made Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley and Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside their top targets. The Mavs will meet with Conley and Whiteside on the first day of free agency, according to sources.

The Mavs have a meeting scheduled with Charlotte Hornets small forward Nicolas Batum, a source told The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears. Batum is high on the list of Dallas' contingency plans if the team doesn't sign Conley or Whiteside, though his price tag could be higher than Parsons', as Batum is eligible for a higher tier of max contract (five years, $153 million from the Hornets or four years, $113.6 million from other suitors).

Cuban had consistently described Parsons as a foundation piece, but sources said Dallas decision-makers reached a consensus that they weren't willing to offer him a max deal.

Parsons averaged 14.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game during his two-year tenure in Dallas but was able to play in only one playoff game because of his knee injuries.

Parsons, 27, had hybrid microfracture surgery on the knee in spring 2015, and the rehab from that operation lasted well into the 2015-16 season. The arthroscopic operation Parsons underwent to address a torn meniscus in the knee this spring wasn't nearly as serious as the previous surgery.

Sources said multiple renowned orthopedic specialists have given Parsons clearance to resume full basketball activities and expressed optimism that his knee will not prevent him from having a long, productive NBA career.

Parsons averaged 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 61 games last seasons, statistics skewed by a slow start as he dealt with strict minutes restrictions. He had the best statistical stretch of his five-year career in the two months before his season ended, with averages of 18.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 51.9 percent from the floor and 47.7 percent from 3-point range and proving he could thrive at power forward in addition to small forward.

ESPN's Marc Stein and The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears contributed to this report.