DALLAS — If history holds serve, the Dallas Mavericks could get the best production from new addition Chandler Parsons of his young career after he competes to make the USA Basketball National Team this summer.
Steadily upping his numbers since being taken with the 38th overall pick by Houston in the 2011 NBA Draft, Parsons was an attractive piece to add to the puzzle for the Mavericks’ front office last month during free agency. The 6-foot-9 Parsons started all 74 of his appearances last season for the Rockets and averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.2 steals an outing. He also connected on 47.2 percent shooting from the field and 37.0 percent from three-point range.
But, with a chance to represent his country this summer during the FIBA World Cup, Chandler could begin to tap into the potential that the Mavs’ brass saw while inking the restricted free agent to a reported offer sheet of three years worth $46 million.
“That’s incredible,” Parsons said last month after receiving word that he was one of 19 players that were invited to Team USA’s training camp in hopes of making the 12-man roster.
He added: “That’s a huge goal of mine, and I’m extremely flattered and honored to be invited to [training camp]. I hope to go there and make the Dallas Mavericks proud, make my family proud and just compete as hard as I can and put myself in the best possible situation to make that team. And then, whatever happens from there, I’ll deal with it then.”
The Mavericks have been in this position before, trading to acquire center Tyson Chandler from Charlotte prior to seeing him help lead Team USA to the 2010 FIBA World Championship. Chandler then proceeded to anchor Dallas’ defense en route to the 2011 NBA title, using his national team experience to springboard him to All-Defensive Second Team honors.
The Mavs now hope the 25-year-old Parsons can make a similar leap, looking to lean on the versatile forward during the 2014-15 season to boost an offensive attack that already features 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki and guard Monta Ellis. And if Parsons has his way, this summer could be the beginning of much bigger things in seasons to come.
“I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of how good I can be,” Parsons said. “I’m an extremely hard worker, and I’m just going to keep getting better every single day. You know, I’m happy in Dallas and I’m very comfortable here. I knew all the guys pretty much before I even signed the contract, so I think there’s still a lot of room for improvement. You know, I signed a three-year deal with a player option my third year right before I’m going into my prime, so it’s definitely a great opportunity for me. I don’t know what’s going to happen after the second year or third year, but I look forward to being here a really long time.”
Parsons will now try to earn a spot on the national team when he competes with Team White in Friday night’s intrasquad scrimmage, which will air at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN.