The Future Of The Chandler Parsons Project

Mar 6, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons (25) reacts during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at FedExForum. Brooklyn defeated Memphis 122-109. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 6, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons (25) reacts during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at FedExForum. Brooklyn defeated Memphis 122-109. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports /

The basketball season is officially over, which means one thing here at BSB…LET THE OFF-SEASON SPECULATION BEGIN. I’m going to get things cracking with a Chandler Parsons outlook piece.

Chandler Parsons has been a poster boy for potential his entire career. He delivered on occasion, one time being the hottest shooter in the NBA, and sometimes scoring the most surprising 30 points you will ever witness. His lack of arch is uncommon among most sharpshooters, but some stats (and a video I linked) would prove me wrong if I said he wasn’t efficient as a deep threat.

Looking Back

Regardless of the hole I dug myself into by showing the best highlight from his career, Chandler Parsons’ greatest accomplishment will be against the Grizzlies, not FOR the Grizzlies. At 28, Parsons is on the cusp where his body is still working with him. Not many players can age as well as Vince Carter, and Parsons isn’t going to be the next player to win the fight against time and play until he’s 42. Knee surgeries have hindered his career in its entirety, but let’s look at Parsons at his absolute best.

Going back to the Dallas Mavericks, Parsons was at his most effective. His Per-36 minutes stats were career highs, despite two sub-70 game seasons. Where does that really leave you as a fan? Staring at numbers, hoping they will equal into a gold ring with Memphis sprawled across the top?

Well…bad news. Parsons isn’t the answer, but good news is you probably already knew that. All this in mind, it wouldn’t hurt to put his future with the Grizzlies in perspective.

Outlook For Next Year

We have seen what will win a championship. The Warriors are dominant on multiple fronts. Until their salaries (hopefully) catch up with them, Golden State will continue to raise the bar every year. This means other NBA teams need to step up their game and compete in any way they can.

With Parsons, at best his production will be somewhere between what Troy Daniels and Zach Randolph produced this last year. But how many wins will that translate to this upcoming season?

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Parsons will add offense, but Randolph also gets a year older. Daniels will increase his efficiency much like Andrew Harrison, who played his best basketball in this years’ postseason. With the potential departure of JaMychal Green, Parsons is going to have a role bigger than he can handle.

The Grizzlies need Parsons to be an All-Star if they want to keep their streak of playoff appearances going. The Pelicans are playoff-ready, while the Nuggets offense is one of the biggest threats in basketball, when healthy. The Grizzlies are aging and are subject to fall to quicker teams, which proved to be a problem late in the season.


Bringing this back to Chandler Parsons, his future is clear. He needs to accept his role as wing scorer coming off the bench. I can see him doing what Bojan Bogdanovich did when he went to the Wizards. He was a solid contributor when taking plenty of shots, but otherwise sadly inconsistent. His downside doppelgänger is Al-Farouq Aminu subtract the defense. That may sound harsh, and it’s only because it is harsh.

Without his shot, Parsons will be out of luck when it comes to a spot in the rotation. Don’t forget the Parsons did play this last season and disappointed. If Parsons stays healthy the entire seasons, I can see the Grizzlies winning closer to 39-40 games, and just missing the playoffs. Mike Conley and Marc Gasol will continue to anchor the offense, and stability from the rest of the backcourt will improve both of their stat lines to what most people believe they should be. But this won’t translate to more wins, just more impressive outings from the teams two best players. Parsons won’t be a part of this 1-2 punch.

The Role

Parsons as a stretch four is nice on paper, but his skillset is nothing what he Grizzlies need for their offense. If resorting to his 3-point shooting is the immediate thought, that isn’t necessarily good. Seeing how his scoring is very suspect as of late, he needs to find another aspect of his game that he can rely on.  As a 6’10″ forward, his rebounding isn’t going to be what it once was when he had healthy knees a few years ago. Even if Chandler Parsons excels this next season, the Grizzlies are still limited with shooters. He’ll still need another superstar to shoulder the offensive weight so he can be comfortable in his role. Usually the player that’s never doubled and left open on outside shots.

Parsons “stretch four” role is being replaced by more skilled players like Karl-Anthony Towns, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, all who can contribute in aspects other than scoring. Even players like Otto Porter have redefined the role as a more defensive stance. Stretch four has become 3-and-D, and being 6’10″ doesn’t provide the same impact if you aren’t a consistent shooter.

Parsons isn’t outdated, but the league has changed in the years he has been hurt. While he had his moments, it seems he’s getting slower while the league is getting faster. Parsons needs time and space to get his shot off, and slow release jump shots aren’t suddenly going to become the next big thing.

Next: Outlining the Chandler Parsons Insurance Plan

This dim outlook is assuming Chandler Parsons stays healthy the entire season and plays the best basketball of his career. While Instagram videos of him working on his shot may impress the common fan, don’t let marketing fool you. Until he steps on the court and impresses you in a Grizzlies jersey, don’t expect him to be an All-Star. Regardless of what other writers on this site might say….yes, you know who I’m talking about.