Parsons signed a three-year, $46 million contract with the Mavericks as a restricted free agent, and the Rockets decided not to match the offer. Parsons, the No. 56 player on SI.com's Top 100 list, averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists last season for the Rockets, all of which were career highs. He said he thought he would end up playing in Houston after a conversation with general manager Daryl Morey.
“Daryl told me this process is going to be frustrating and you’re going to read a lot of stuff you’re not going to like, but at the end of the day, you’ve worked hard for this and you’ve earned this,” Parsons said. “He warned me it could get ugly at times once the media gets involved and that you’re gonna see people say you’re not worth this or you’re not worth that. [Morey] just sat me down and said, ‘Go out and sign the best contract you can. Just know in the back of your head that we’re gonna match the contract.’
“Dan was trying to negotiate something with them early, and, to be perfectly honest, I would have accepted a lot less money early in the process to stay in Houston. But they told me they wanted to wait for the whole LeBron and Melo situation [to play out], which I understood. I just listened to them. I signed the best deal I could for my own career.”
Stein reports Parsons wanted to sign a four-year, $48 million contract early in the process, but the Rockets declined. Houston's final offer was two-years and more than $30 million, according to Stein.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said the team decided to sign Parsons before it heard back from another free agent: LeBron James.
"But then, when we weren't hearing a whole lot from the Melo camp, we knew we were pretty much out. So I told Chandler [on July 9]: 'I could end up being the dumbest idiot in NBA history, but even if LeBron comes back to us and says he's choosing us, I'm committing to you.' "
The Mavericks and Rockets play on Tuesday in preseason action. Their first regular season meeting will be Nov. 22 in Houston.
- Paul Palladino