Memphis Grizzlies: Outlining the Chandler Parsons Insurance Plan

Jan 13, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons (25) warms up before the game against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 13, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons (25) warms up before the game against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Everyone knows how good Chandler Parsons can be, but injuries hinder the vision from coming to fruition. The Memphis Grizzlies need to venture into a plan.

When the Memphis Grizzlies inked Chandler Parsons to a four-year, $94M contract, the expectations were high. For the first time since Rudy Gay’s exit, they found a versatile wing who could get buckets and play alongside the “Core 4.” With a new coach and a hybrid wing, the Finals were expectations. Then

Kevin Durant went to Golden State

Parsons couldn’t stay healthy as the Grizzlies fell to the seventh seed, leading to another first-round exit.

Chandler Parsons finished a nightmare season averaging 6.2 points on a 33.8/26.9/81.4 shooting slash, 2.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists. While his play didn’t come close to expectations, the Memphis Grizzlies failed to make a more definite plan last summer. One plan that could’ve changed the Grizzlies’ season this summer. That plan: the Chandler Parsons Insurance Plan.

Executive Summary

When healthy, Chandler Parsons has shown that he can produce at a high level. Once he was off his minutes restriction with Dallas in the 2015-2016, Parsons went on a three-month tear where he averaged 16.9 points on 44.4 percent shooting from downtown, 5.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists. The Grizzlies signed him to be the elite wing that he proved he could be, but they should’ve looked into a backup wing that could produce if injuries struck once again.

Going forward, the number one priority should be to find a player who could essentially replace Parsons if he’s out of the lineup. In doing so, this option needs to be capable of fulfilling the Memphis Grizzlies’ championship aspirations even in the event that they would be named a starter. Even if Parsons is in the lineup and performing close to his potential, they need to be a player who could either play behind him or alongside him.

Must Read: Grizz: Offseason Priorities


In the 2016 free agency, they missed out on potential, low-value options like Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Gerald Green and James Johnson. However, it’s not too late as this year’s free agency is full of players who could fit in this vision:

  • Rudy Gay
  • Omri Casspi
  • Gerald Green
  • PJ Tucker
  • CJ Miles
  • Jonathon Simmons

These options could either serve as a Parsons’ replacement or as a piece alongside him. They have proven to be starter-level contributors in this league and could very well fall into the Grizzlies’ price range. If the price tag isn’t high, they should become Memphis’ number one priority.


This plan is an insurmountable success if Chandler Parsons is indeed healthy and playing at full strength. After years of being exposed by it, the Grizzlies could finally employ an efficient small-ball lineup. In a league full of versatility, having players that can play multiple positions is a luxury. Not having enough puts you at a disadvantage.

With declining athleticism and speed, Parsons is bound to see minutes at the power forward position. Finding an adequate, starting-level small forward could make the transition easy for both Parsons and the Memphis Grizzlies.

If Parsons can’t play, the Grizzlies have a ready, capable replacement. Relying on guys like James Ennis and Troy Daniels is tough, given their lack of experience and consistency. In addition, counting on a 40-year old Vince Carter shouldn’t be the team’s saving grace, even though he defies the odds on numerous occasions. The Grizzlies need a veteran player that can step up in Parsons’ absence so that they don’t experience much drop-off in production.

Related Story: Is a Rudy Gay reunion in the works?


Chandler Parsons can obviously play at a high level. It’s the sole reason why the Grizzlies paid such a high cost for his services. Because of his price tag and injury history, he’s tough to move. To counter that, they must find a solution.

The Chandler Parsons Insurance Plan. Trust me, it’s the only way the Grizzlies can attain sustainable success.