Grizzlies' Parsons says he's healthy, but GM won't allow him to play

Colton Jones

Chandler Parsons insists he is healthy, yet continues to not play for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Parsons, who missed his 32nd consecutive game Saturday night, puts the blame directly on the shoulders of Memphis general manager Chris Wallace, saying at shootaround Saturday before a game against visiting Boston that his problematic right knee is no longer hampering him and he's A-OK to resume playing.

“The most confusing part for me is I’m healthy,” Parsons said, according to Mark Giannotto of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. “I’m medically cleared by the people I work with every single day, that are experts at this kind of stuff, so it’s frustrating to watch a team struggle and I’m sitting there on the bench healthy, dying to play.”

Parsons, whose knee began bothering him in late October, said he and the team's medical staff were pointing toward a Dec. 21 game at Sacramento as a target date for him to make his return. However, Wallace had other ideas, saying he wanted to see Parsons played five-on-five in practice before coming back. Parsons says he has been doing that for two weeks and his knee has remained pain-free.

The veteran forward said Wallace hoped to send him on a G-League assignment "for a really long time, but he didn't tell me how long."

Under the collective bargaining agreement, veteran players have the right to refuse assignments to the G-League, but Parsons said he has not been given the opportunity to do so.

“No communication. No nothing,” Parsons said of his status. “I don’t think it’s from a basketball standpoint. It’s definitely not from a health standpoint. I’ve been cleared by the medical staff of our organization, and clearly it’s not about fitting.

"I already earned a starting spot out of training camp and have shown I can fit with the team. I think the confusion for me is there’s no communication about what’s going on and when I’m going to play.”

Parsons, 30, has been sidelined since late October because of swelling in his right knee and back soreness. He has played in only three games this season, posting 11 points and shooting 3-of-4 from deep in a victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

He has played in only 73 games since joining the Grizzlies in 2016.

The University of Florida product is owed approximately $49.2 million over the next two seasons.