While Chandler Parsons may not be the same player he once was, he gives the Memphis Grizzlies the lineup versatility to compete in the Western Conference.
In a league where perimeter shooting often distinguishes teams between winners and losers, players like Parsons offer valuable points of leverage. The fifth-year forward can be trusted to spot up along the arc and relied upon to create in a pinch. That he easily slides between the 3 and the 4 only allows for further matchup control and lineup flexibility. In that way, Parsons helps to relieve some of the stresses of running an offense. When a primary ballhandler is trapped or denied, initiating the pick-and-roll is no problem. Parsons scored efficiently in the two-man game in each of his seasons in Dallas—his first real license to play a more active role in shot creation. When an opponent goes into rotation, Parsons is comfortable flooring the ball to either work his way into a shot or set up a lob for a teammate near the rim. There’s a lot to like in his offense, which unfortunately also means that his team also has a lot to miss when he’s gone. It has now been a matter of years since Parsons was fully healthy. He may never again have quite the same lift and explosion. Those are realities Parsons must now face, all while his team lives with the possibility that a key player might not always be available. (Last year: No. 66)
+ Still runs the floor well in transition despite his injuries
+ Eager to assist his teammates and has great chemistry with finishing bigs
– Past two seasons have ended with knee surgeries
– Swings between two positions but isn’t a particularly helpful defender on balance