Chandler Parsons, who is earning $25.1MM in the final season of the four-year contract he signed with Memphis in 2016, is technically the highest-paid player on the Hawks‘ roster this season, but has only appeared in four games for the team so far, logging just 43 total minutes.
Speaking to Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype, Parsons raved about the upside of Atlanta’s young core and said it’s “cool” to be a veteran on a young team with room to grow. However, he also acknowledged that not getting more of an opportunity has been tough.
“It sucks. It really sucks,” Parsons said. “Obviously, I want to play. I want to help. I’m healthy and I’m in a contract year so I want to show the team that I’m healthy and I can play and I can definitely help this team win. But at the same time, I understand the objective here and I understand the operation and knowing that development, so I’m just staying ready.”
In his conversation with Kalbrosky, Parsons offered some interesting insight on the criticism he has taken since signing that four-year, maximum-salary contract in ’16, and what his future might hold going forward.
Here are some of the highlights from the discussion, which is worth checking out in full:
On how Parsons’ max contract and health problems impacted the perception of him:
“I think anybody with a brain in my situation would have taken the contract. It’s funny. People that are hating on it, if they were in my shoes or if their son was in my shoes, they would have told them to do the same thing. Right? Should I have predicted that I was going to be hurt and took less or took half the money? That’s psychotic.
“Now the contract is what it was and obviously, I didn’t live up to it. I think if I was healthy, I fully would have done that and I think it was on the path of being a really good player in this league and people are judged off of their salary and I understand that and that’s how it goes. It was out of my control as far as injuries go and not being able to play as much as I wanted to in Memphis sucked. But it’s silly when people hate on it. Anybody in their right mind would’ve done the same thing.”
On what he thinks he can still bring to an NBA team:
“I know that in today’s NBA I can definitely be a stretch forward. And I feel like, with these lineups, I can also even play the five. Also: twos and threes are the same positions so I can play two through five. And I can bring the ball up, I can shoot the ball and I’m 6’10”. There’s not a lot of people that can move like me who are this height. I’m tall, man.
“It’s always been about health with me and I’m the most healthy I’ve been in a long time. I’ve just got to sustain that and keep managing it. My knees feel great, my body feels great. Hopefully, it’s just a blessing in disguise that I’m not playing now and I’ll be ready. It sucks, but at the same time preserving my body and like I said… I’m dying to play but it’s out of my control.”
On what the 2020/21 season might hold for him:
“I think just to get on a team next year, on a financial friendly deal, it changes the whole look of you to the fans as well as you to the media and just you to everything. You see a lot of guys that do that. Dwight Howard on a max deal was awful. Dwight on an interim deal is phenomenal. Someone like Andre Iguodala, when he goes to say, the Lakers for minimum, he’s going to be this huge value and people are going to love him. That’s just how it goes. I have no complaints. I’ve played basketball in the NBA. I set up my future here. I still think there is still time to just show I can still play. I just turned 31. It’s still young and technically I should be in my prime.”