1:02pm: The team confirmed the surgery via press release, adding that Parsons will indeed miss the rest of the season.
10:54am: Chandler Parsons had season-ending surgery this morning to remedy the torn meniscus in his right knee, sources tell Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com (ESPN Now link). MacMahon reported earlier this week that the soon-to-be free agent was likely to have the operation but planned to get a second opinion. Schuyler Dixon of The Associated Press indicated that it was conceivable that Parsons would return for the playoffs even if he did undergo the procedure, but that’s apparently out of the question at this point. Parsons is still expected to opt out of his contract this summer, and the Mavericks are still the front-runners to sign him, MacMahon wrote this week.
The surgery is on the same knee that ended Parsons’ season prematurely last year, though the injury isn’t as serious this time around, and Parsons will be able to take part in his normal offseason training regimen, according to MacMahon. The 27-year-old is poised to hit free agency as a hot commodity, with the Magic his primary option should he choose to leave Dallas, as MacMahon reported earlier this month. MacMahon also heard from sources who expected the Heat, Lakers, Nets, Knicks, Trail Blazers, Rockets, Nuggets and perhaps Thunder to also be in pursuit, though an executive from one team told Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com that he wouldn’t sign Parsons because of concerns about the knee.
The immediate worry in Dallas is about the Mavs’ hopes of a playoff berth, with the loss of Parsons a serious blow. The Mavs, Trail Blazers, Jazz and Rockets are separated by just one game in the loss column with only three playoff spots in play for the four teams. Portland and Dallas have 36 losses while Utah and Houston have 37. The regular season ends April 13th.
Reserve Jeremy Evans is also lost for the rest of the season, but Dallas doesn’t have enough injuries to warrant a 16th roster spot via hardship. That leaves the Mavs without much roster flexibility, as the deadline for a disabled player exception passed more than two months ago, and the team already has 15 players signed through at least the end of the season.