After a first-round playoff exit, the Houston Rockets have plans to revamp their roster. Forward Chandler Parsons is not a part of those plans.
Sources told Yahoo Sports that the Rockets plan to decline the fourth-year option on Parsons’ contract, allowing him to become a restricted free agent this summer.
The Rockets hold a $960,000 option on the final year of Parsons’ deal, but will allow him to test restricted free agency instead of letting him walk next summer when he is an unrestricted free agent. This summer, the team still has the ability to match any offer Parsons receives.
Per the report, declining Parsons’ option allows Houston to clear enough salary cap space to pursue a third maximum contract. LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, and Dirk Nowitzki are all expected to be Rockets’ targets in free agency.
Parsons’ contract coming off the books also gives the Rockets some leeway to attempt a sign-and-trade to acquire Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
One scenario suggested by the Yahoo Sports report allows Houston to have three max contracts and a top-tier free agent, in addition to retaining Parsons.
In one scenario, Houston could secure three max-out players – including Howard, Harden and a potential star free agent – and then re-sign Parsons to an extension below the max-level range. Parsons could command in the $12 million to $13 million annual range, league executives tell Yahoo Sports.
Parsons, 25, averaged 16.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He is coming off a rookie contract that paid him an annual salary of $926,500. He could see a raise upwards of $10 million per year.