You either love Chandler Parsons or you don’t.
Chandler penned an editorial for The Player’s Tribune recently that has either warmed your heart, made you vomit, or created indifference in you.
Parsons hasn’t exactly had a good first two years here. Injury after injury, setback after setback. This will probably be the first season where Chandler enters a season mostly healthy as a Grizzly.
While only playing 36 games last season, Chandler made a huge improvement from the previous campaign. He increased his made shot totals by over 30% and overall shot 46% from the floor, which was up from only 33% in 2016-2017. Behind-the-arc was much better as well at 42%, up from 26.9% the season before. That 42% was also the best from 3 in a season in Chandler’s 7 year career, and 4 points above his career average of 38%.
If you look at Chandler’s basic stats his other numbers don’t necessarily line up because of the minutes played. When you break it down into Per 36 Minutes, Parsons rebounding, assists, steals, and blocks all match up well with the rest of his career.
Chandler was more of a spot up 3 shooter, shooting 37% percent of his shots being of the catch-and-shoot variety, making 43% of those shots. The only distance shot Parsons shot a better percentage on were pull-up 2s, which he shot a solid 48% on.
Best Case Scenario
Chandler starts the season in the starting lineup while Jaren Jackson, Jr. get settled into the rotation. He maintains and/or improves upon the positive shooting stats from last season, and becomes a dangerous perimeter scoring option leading the Grizzlies into the postseason. Parsons has no ill effects from the injuries the plagued him the last few seasons, but still keeps his minutes down to maximize his effectiveness from the floor.
At season’s end, after helping the Grizzlies return to the postseason, Chandler gets the NBA Comeback Player of the Year award for averaging career highs in points and shooting percentages.
Worst Case Scenario
Chandler ends up playing less than half the season again because of another knee injury. Before season’s end, Chnadler Parsons retires from the NBA due to another surgery, solidifying the move to sign him before the 2016-2017 season as one of the worst free agent signings busts in the history of the NBA.
At this point, seeing Chandler continue the positive gains he made in a limited role last season has to be considered a win. The Grizzlies will most likely never reap the full rewards a player of his salary should provide, so getting a consistent player that contributes to the success of the team is far better than the alternative.
Chandler needs to stay on the court plain and simple. In the first preseason game he started over Kyle Anderson, and that’s a possible trend worth watching. Moving forward Chandler should eventually end up as an anchor of the second unit, or possibly even starting at the 3 with JJJ or JaMychal Green at the 4, but it all comes back to one thing:
Health. Will Chandler’s body betray him again or will the strides he took in the offseason to rehabilitate himself allow him to regain some form of his past success?
The Chandler Parsons project is at a pivotal stage that depending on which way it goes this season, could have a lot to say in the overall success of the team this season and what the future structure of the team and organization will look like.