The Cleveland Cavaliers have about $17 million in cap space to spend this summer, but could clear up around $23 million to offer a max contract. In the following few weeks here at Right Down Euclid, we will be profiling players the Cavaliers might pick up during the free agency period. Today, we profile Houston Rockets small forward Chandler Parsons. Click here for more free agency profiles.
Tale of the Tape
Name: Chandler Parsons
Position: Small Forward
Prior Team: Houston Rockets
Weight: 227 lbs.
2013-14 Per Game Stats: 16.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.4 BPG, .472 FG%, .370 3PT%, .742 FT%, 74 (GP)
Career Per Game Stats: 14.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.4 BPG, .473 FG%, .370 3PT%, .705 FT%, 213 (GP)
Chandler Parsons is a restricted free agent following playing three seasons for the Houston Rockets. He was a second round pick out of the University of Florida in 2011. During the course of his young career, he has steadily been improving every year, seeing jumps in nearly all major statistical categories. He has been a huge surprise. If you go back and look at what scouts said about him prior to the draft, almost all of them are wrong. His success has shocked many, but after three years of high caliber hoops, it is definitely not a fluke. The only reason Houston would not match an offer sheet for Parsons would be because of their pursuit of Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh. There would be no way to retain Parsons and still have enough cap room to sign Melo. It appears as if the front office is going all in for Anthony and/or Bosh, so that makes the possibility of Parsons signing elsewhere strong.
Parsons has great size for a small forward, measuring 6’-9’’. He might lack elite quickness, but he makes up for it with his size. He won’t jump out of the gym either, but he is very comfortable with his skill set and knows how to play to his strengths.
Parsons is a very well-rounded player, especially offensively. There is no question in his ability to shoot the ball. Last season, he had a true shooting percentage of 56.5% percent. He excels in catch and shoot situations, but has really begun to hone his pull-up jumper game as well. An underrated part to his game is without question his ability to attack the basket and finish. This is where his large frame really helps. When looking at his tape, his efficiency at getting to the rim came as a surprise. Parsons used his body nicely to keep smaller players from staying in front of him. He was not elusive, but more slippery during his dribble drives. His strength was evident during many of his finishes inside the paint. Parsons passes well, averaging four assists per game. He doesn’t clog up the floor, either. He fits nicely with the pieces Houston had and was a nice compliment to James Harden and Dwight Howard.
This is a tough one to really to define. He is not a great defender; in fact he is not even an above average defender. Plainly stated, he is average. But a lot of his struggles could be attributed to Houston’s lack of a strong power forward. Parsons sometimes had to defend out of position, which makes his defensive stats a tad bit misleading, such as him allowing 108 points per 100 defensive possessions. When it comes to rebounding defensively, he does an okay job, averaging just over 4.5 per game. However, with his height, that figure should probably be higher. As it pertains to man-to-man defense, he struggles a bit. He can stay in front for a little while but is susceptible to being taken off the dribble. Off the ball, he looks like he gets bored sometimes and forgets his assignments. Like stated before, defining Parsons’ defensive abilities is not easy. If forced to pick a weakness of his game, defense would definitely be it.
He has a high basketball IQ and is very mature. Spending four years in college really helped him develop a deep understanding of the game, and it shows in the way he plays. Parsons calls himself “a voice in the locker room” and that he will do anything “to make guys feel comfortable” and “be themselves” around the team. He is definitely a positive player to have around on a team.
How Does He Fit on the Cavaliers?
With GM David Griffin’s comments about seeing Andrew Wiggins as a big shooting guard, Parsons fits much better with the Cavs. That means the team still has a vacancy at the starting three spot. Parsons would provide the Cavs with an outside shooting presence as well as a solid leader from that open three spot. His defensive weaknesses might raise some eyebrows, but the Rockets still won with him on the floor, so it won’t be that much of an issue. Parsons does not require the ball in his hands to score, and that is an attribute that would work well with the players currently on the Cavs roster. If the team is able to add him for the right price, Parsons would be a nice addition and one more piece to keep the franchise moving in a positive direction.