Carlisle: Parsons can play four positions

As far as coach Rick Carlisle is concerned, the possibilities for Chandler Parsons are practically limitless.

The Mavs wouldn't have paid Parsons more than $15 million per year if they didn't think he had star potential. They believe he's just beginning to blossom after averaging 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists for the 54-win Houston Rockets last season, improving his numbers in each category for the third consecutive year since arriving in the NBA as a second-round pick.

As a foundation piece in Dallas, Parsons will have a bigger role than ever before. For that matter, it sounds as if he'll have more roles than ever before, as Carlisle considers Parsons capable of playing four positions.

"I think he can play the 3, 4, 1 and 2," Carlisle said, listing every spot from point guard to power forward for the Mavs' new starting small forward. "He can do a lot of different things. He can facilitate, he can drive it, he can shoot it and he and he can defend a lot of different positions. It's a really good fit for us."

The Mavs are enamored with the 6-foot-9, 227-pound Parsons' skill, size and versatility. His age (26 at the beginning of the season) is part of the reason the Mavs identified Parsons as their clear preference among Plan B targets after their pipe-dream plans of signing LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony didn't pan out.

Parsons has proved he is a good NBA player. The Mavs are confident he can become great with the coaching of Carlisle, whom calls Parsons "an outstanding all-around player."

Dallas filled a glaring hole at small forward when the Rockets declined the right to match their three-year, $46 million offer to the restricted free agent. But that position will be just the beginning of Parsons' responsibilities with the Mavs.

The Mavs' are counting on their new $15 million man to do a lot of everything as a point forward who can fill it up.