Chandler Parsons fills up a box score like few others in the NBA, joining LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kevin Love as the league’s lone players last season to average at least 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting better than 45 percent from the floor.
But the Mavs’ favorite Parsons number doesn’t appear in the box score. It’s his age, 25.
“That was a huge part of this, the age factor,” Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. “He's a young player that's already kind of established in the league. It was really the perfect storm for us. It was the opportunity to get not only a high-caliber here-and-now player that can help us win playoff games. Here's a guy that is 25 and will continually get better.”
Parsons’ presence gives the Mavs a proven major foundation piece who has yet to enter his prime, something Dallas hasn’t seen since Jason Terry’s arrival from Atlanta.
The Mavs paid a premium price for Parsons -- $46 million over three seasons, making him the highest-paid player on the Mavs’ roster. The Mavs decided they’d rather spend $15-plus million per year on Parsons than $10 million or so on Luol Deng or Trevor Ariza, then held their breath when those fallback options signed with other teams before the Rockets’ declined their right to match Parsons’ offer sheet.
Truth be told, the Mavs pegged Parsons’ value at more like $12 million per year. The Mavs went higher than that to make the offer as hard as possible for Houston to match, pleased to pay extra for promise of an ascending talent.
“We did overpay by a little, but that was the spirit of which it was needed to be done,” Nelson said.
That’s the value of the Dirk Nowitzki discount deal. With Nowitzki underpaid by at least $6-8 million per year, the Mavs could afford to be as aggressive as necessary to get Parsons.