Welcome to Dallas, Chandler Parsons.
It was a three-day wait for the Dallas Mavericks’ front office after signing Parsons to a reported three-year, $46 million offer sheet in an attempt to steal the restricted free agent away from Southwest Division rival Houston. However, after Houston opted not to match the offer on Sunday, the Mavericks did finally get their man, announcing the signing of the 25-year-old small forward on Tuesday just hours after officially re-inking 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki.
Parsons will now try to learn from Nowitzki as the two join forces in Dallas, looking to lead the Mavs back to being a championship contender.
“I was very excited,” Parsons said when asked about signing with the Mavs on Tuesday during a conference call with members of the Dallas media. “I’ve always respected the Mavericks organization and I do think Mark [Cuban] is the best owner in sports and Rick [Carlisle] is one of the best coaches in the NBA. So, it’s going to be a great experience for me to come here and be a part of this. They have high standards of winning championships. Dirk, obviously, was one of my favorite players growing up, and I’ve developed a close relationship with him throughout the years. So, it will be amazing to be able to play with him. And I love the core we have here with Tyson [Chandler], Monta [Ellis] and Dirk. I think we have a chance to do some special things here, so I was definitely excited and I look forward to getting things started.”
Parsons continued to expand his game during his three seasons with the Rockets, quickly making a name for himself after being taken with the 38th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Last season, the 6-foot-9 swingman put up career numbers across the board, starting all 74 of his appearances and averaging 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, giving Carlisle another lethal scoring threat to team with Nowitzki and Ellis on the offensive side of the ball.
And with hopes of reaching his prime in the coming seasons, Parsons freely admits that he could one day take the reins from Nowitzki as the Mavs’ go-to scorer.
“The system is very similar to Houston,” Parsons said while highlighting Carlisle’s offensive philosophies. “It’s got a little bit more structure to it, but it’s a lot of up and down, a lot of pick-and-roll, a lot of transition. So, it’s perfect and tailor-made for my game. And it’s going to be awesome playing on the other wing as Monta, ’cause he absolutely can flat out just score the ball. Obviously, Dirk is one of the best ever and we can put him in multiple situations, and Tyson can finish everything at the rim. And you’ve got a little bit of everything with Raymond [Felton] and Devin [Harris] and Jae [Crowder] and Brandan [Wright], so we’re going to have a deep team and we’re going to have a good team going forward. I’m really just looking forward to getting into camp, getting to know these guys and starting to create that chemistry as soon as we can.
“I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of how good I can be. 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.”
Hoping to learn from Nowitzki now on a daily basis, Parsons will try to form a bond with the franchise player while soaking up his knowledge of the game. With that said, Parsons also hopes to develop a niche of his own in Dallas, looking to unlock aspects of his game as he tries to emerge as a go-to player for the Mavericks for seasons to come.
And with Nowitzki serving as his mentor, Parsons will set out to help lead the Mavericks back into title contention during the 2014-15 season while once again quieting his own naysayers.
“[Nowitzki] is such a smart player. You know, he’s an unbelievable tutor,” Parsons said. “He’s such a student of the game. And everything that he does, I’m just going to be a sponge and absorb everything. I look forward to getting in the gym with him, getting there early and getting shots up with him. … It’s not often you get to play with one of the greatest of all time, so I look forward to absorbing any info I can and we’re definitely going to be bouncing some things off each other for my time here.
“I’m definitely a team guy and I’m all about winning. I put the team before myself … but I have goals individually as well as for the team. I’m going to keep working, I’m going to keep proving people wrong. My whole career people have doubted me. They didn’t think I could go [Division I in college], they didn’t think I’d be drafted and I was a second-round pick. But I’ve always kind of been that underdog, and I play with that chip on my shoulder to continue to prove people wrong. I’ll continue to do that here, and I look forward to it.”