Chandler Parsons answered affirmatively when Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com asked whether he and Dwight Howard would have conversations this summer about teaming up again. Parsons and Howard, who played together on the Rockets during the 2013/14 season, are both expected to turn down their respective player options for next season and hit free agency this summer.
The Mavericks are the front-runners to retain Parsons, as MacMahon previously reported, and while the Mavs have interest in Howard, they wouldn’t approach the maximum salary of nearly $30MM in a contract offer to him, MacMahon hears (ESPN Now link). Parsons, in his interview with MacMahon, expressed his affection for Dallas, the Mavs organization, coach Rick Carlisle and Dirk Nowitzki. Parsons called Mark Cuban the best owner in the NBA and said he wouldn’t want to play for anyone else, but he stopped short of committing to stay with the Mavericks. The versatile forward has played a key recruting role for the Mavericks as they’ve pursued free agents in the past, but he indicated that’s on hold until his own contractual situation is resolved.
“It’s tricky, because if I’m going out and I’m recruiting a free agent right in the beginning of free agency, and they obviously know that I’ve opted out of my contract and I’m still not signed with the Mavs, it’s difficult for them to get an understanding of what the foundation of the Mavs is going to be going forward when the main guy recruiting them still isn’t signed,” Parsons told MacMahon. “That’s something that [agent Dan] Fegan and Mark and [president of basketball operations] Donnie [Nelson] and everybody, they have to talk early on to maybe get something done. Obviously, Dan will be talking to every team in the league with there being so much cap space everywhere, but that’s a tricky thing. I can’t really recruit anybody to Dallas until I know that I’m coming back to Dallas.”
The Magic are reportedly Parsons’ second choice, and Howard apparently has interest in returning to Orlando if he can’t re-sign with the Rockets. Parsons also detailed the close relationship he still has with other former teammates still with Houston as part of his chat with MacMahon.