Chandler Parsons is a big part of the Memphis Grizzlies, ‘Like it or not’

Feb 8, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons (25) handles the ball against Phoenix Suns forward TJ Warren (12) during the game at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Phoenix Suns 110-91. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 8, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons (25) handles the ball against Phoenix Suns forward TJ Warren (12) during the game at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Phoenix Suns 110-91. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports /

At the exit interviews, many in the Memphis Grizzlies organization all stressed how valuable Chandler Parsons is to this team.

All-NBA center Marc Gasol said that Chandler Parsons is a “huge part of this team, like it or not.”

Well, there are plenty of people who like the idea, and some despise it.

The Memphis Grizzlies’ $94M dollar man entered his contract with high expectations. Many believed that he was the wing the “Core 4” has needed since Rudy Gay’s exit. He’s a shooter that could light up the scoreboard on any given night. He can facilitate the offense. In addition, he can slide down to the 4-position, opening up a pace-and-space offense for this slow Grizzlies team. However, there was always that one condition next to it “if healthy.”

All season, Chandler Parsons couldn’t get into a rhythm and flow. He missed out on pretty much all basketball activities during the summer and training camp as he was rehabbing his right knee.

Parsons returned in November, and things were looking decent. He flashed glimpses of the “Chandler Parsons the Memphis Grizzlies signed,” scoring 12 points and connecting on three of his five triples against his former team. Then, BOOM! Injury to the left knee.

Finally, after a month, he returned at the perfect time. The Memphis Grizzlies rattled off a 9-record with the “Nasty Nine” and were missing Mike Conley, as well. Hello, top-4 seed!

However, that wasn’t the case. Parsons couldn’t get rolling, looking completely stiff on the court. He provided the Grizzlies with a solid scoring, rebounding and playmaking presence in a few games. Most of the time though, his rust on the court enraged the fans as many accused him of “robbing the Grizzlies of their money.”

In addition to his sub-mediocre play on the court, fans weren’t fond of his life away from the court. There were many aspects of his off-the-court life that enraged the fans – excessive Instagram posts, Jenner rumors, Bella Thorne. However, “Chancun” didn’t earn him many supporters.

Unfortunately, his season came to an end after a partially torn meniscus in his left knee. In a season with so much optimism, people were left wondering “what could’ve been.”

Getting Him Healthy

When discussing offseason priorities, many said how important it is to get Chandler Parsons healthy. Mike Conley actually called it their “number one priority.”

After going completely incognito after surgery, general manager Chris Wallace said that Parsons was rehabbing with a “world-class” knee specialist in Los Angeles. He also hopes that he’s ready to go by the time training camp rolls around.

A full training camp is important for Parsons next season. Last year, he didn’t even get to training camp. Furthermore, that just means he had to learn the offense, re-gain his rhythm and further rehab in live game action – stuff that usually happens in training camp and preseason.

As he was played his worst basketball and was battered by a rabid fanbase and news medias all over Twitter, it was easy to see that Chandler lost confidence. Vince Carter points the mental aspect of recovery as extremely important as he hopes to return to full-form next year.

If Chandler Parsons can come back healthy with confidence, as VC said, “everything will take care of itself.”

Related Story: Memphis Grizzlies: Offseason Priorities

Chandler Parsons is still a Key to the Team

Despite all this, many within the Memphis Grizzlies see Chandler Parsons as a integral part to the team’s success.

Tony Allen, another injured starter for the Grizzlies’ playoff run, said that “the sky is the limit” when he’s healthy, because he “brings so much to the table.”

There’s not anyone on this team – nor was there anyone in last year’s free agency – with his skill-set. If the Grizzlies had him healthy all year, they could’ve been looking at a home-court advantage in the first round then a matchup with the Warriors in the second.

Coach Fizdale didn’t hesitate when talking of how Chandler could’ve impacted the playoffs:

"It’s huge obviously. You’re talking about a $94 million player. As you see, we needed some wing help in the playoffs. Chandler is a really big cog in the machine."

With a 40-year old Vince Carter and an inexperienced bunch of Wayne Selden, Troy Daniels and James Ennis, the Memphis Grizzlies needed both Parsons and Tony Allen. While TA would’ve had the task of guarding Kawhi, Chandler could’ve unloaded some scoring pressure off Mike Conley.

If you need a reminder of how good he can be, here’s a video of him torturing the Grizzlies just last year:

Mike Conley stated that the Memphis Grizzlies “have to get the Chandler Parsons we know.”

It’s a wish and a cry for Grizzlies, the organization and its fans. There’s one question with it. Will we ever see the Chandler Parsons of old?

I guess we have to wait until next season.

The Beale Street Bears Staff wishes full health and confidence for Chandler Parsons, so that he can prove the doubters wrong.