When I think about a fat contract that comes off the bench to, more often than not, be underwhelming, my first thought is Brian Cardinal. Could Chandler Parsons be Cardinal reincarnated?
Ok I’ll stop, thats just dumb.
All summer long we heard about Parsons’ new German knees being ready to return to form. Also during the summer, the front office signed Kyle Anderson, a player at the same position. Most believed that Anderson would be the de facto starter with Parsons getting his 20 something minutes off the bench each night.
Well when the season started in Indianapolis, it was Chancun and not Slow Mo being called out with the starting lineups. (This could say more about Anderson not being that great, but that’s for a different article). Then, what seems like the inevitable, happened: Parsons is out with “knee soreness.”
The Grizz did what they always do, took the punch and kept on playing. Not only did they keep playing, they are winning. The starting lineup of Mike Conley, Garrett Temple, Kyle Anderson, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Marc Gasol just oozes with defense. When Parsons was on the floor, he was getting blown by off the dribble like it was his job.
So with Parsons due to return “soon”, what should JB Bickerstaff do? Return him to the starting lineup? Bring him off the bench? Trade him to Cleveland for Kyle Korver and J.R. Smith (sources can neither deny nor confirm this made up rumor, ok they can definitely be denied).
Bickerstaff should tinker with the starting lineup, but it should not be to add Chandler Parsons back into it. Dillon Brooks has looked great against both Utah and Golden State and the starting lineup needs his spark. The new starting lineup should be:
PG: Mike Conley
SG: Garrett Temple
SF: Dillon Brooks
PF: Kyle Anderson
C: Marc Gasol
This would leave your second unit looking like this:
PG: Shelvin Mack
SG: MarShon Brooks
SF: Wayne Selden
PF: Chandler Parsons (his time at the 3 must come to an end)
The truth of the situation is that Chandler does not have the quickness to guard wings of even average athleticism (see game vs. the Pacers). It is time to give up on Chandler as the starting 3 and its time to finally embrace him as the second unit stretch 4 that he could be very successful at. I believe there is production left in Parsons, but this starting lineup should only ever include him if the rest of the entire roster is injured.