Rockets don't miss Chandler Parsons, who's earning Mavs' money

DALLAS -- He might not be the most popular man in Houston these days, but Chandler Parsons says he's happy to see his former team enjoying early-season success.

The undefeated Houston Rockets are the NBA's first team to five wins, roaring out of the gates by routing all of their opponents.

While Parsons' focus is firmly on helping the Dallas Mavericks win games, he acknowledges keeping close tabs on the Rockets.

"I'm still a fan of those guys," Parsons said. "Obviously, I want us to do better. When we play them, I want to beat them. But those are still my friends, and I'm still pulling for coach [Kevin] McHale. I definitely still keep an eye on what they're doing."

Parsons had some tense public exchanges with prominent Rockets figures after his departure to Dallas. All has been forgiven now, but he took offense to comments from Houston general manager Daryl Morey and superstar James Harden that essentially classified Parsons as a role player who wasn't worth the three-year, $46 million deal he received in restricted free agency.

Perhaps that explains why Parsons has little interest in discussing Trevor Ariza, his much more cap-friendly replacement on the Rockets who has been phenomenal in five games. Ariza is averaging 17.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and leads the NBA with 21 made 3-pointers, knocking down 60 percent of his long-range attempts.

"I don't pay any attention to him," Parsons said. "Listen, many people replace many people every year in this league. He's a good, proven player in this league. He's supposed to play good for them."

Parsons is supposed to blossom into a star with the Mavs. After stumbling in the season-opening loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Parsons has performed up to his paycheck.

Check out Parsons' production during the Mavs' three-game winning streak: 23.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game, while shooting 56.8 percent from the floor and 50 percent from 3-point range.

"He's a great flow player for us, running pick-and-rolls, running in transition, quick pick-and-rolls, getting to the basket in transition," Dirk Nowitzki said.

The Mavs valued Parsons because they envisioned him as a versatile offensive weapon, and he's living up to that billing as he becomes more comfortable in his new surroundings and system.

"I'm just in a good rhythm right now," Parsons said. "I'm trying not to force anything and trying to stay within the offense, but I'm feeling good right now."

The Mavs are feeling really good about their biggest July decision.

So are the Rockets, but that doesn't bother Parsons.