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Is Stretching Chandler Parsons a Stretch?

The Grizzlies can save some money with this move, but is it even worth it?

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NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis Grizzlies fans have been dying to get rid of Chandler Parsons since his first season in Grind City. Whether it’s a trade, or just outright waiving him, the objective of Grizzlies social media is get him out of town.

Well, to the mock GMs out there with such great ideas to get him out of town, this one is for you guys.

In a recent column from The Athletic, Danny Leroux broke down some of the league’s biggest stretch provision candidates, which included Chandler Parsons and more members of the notorious 2016 free agent class. If the Grizzlies decided to stretch the remained of his contract, they would save $16.7M for the 2019-20 campaign.

When seeing that, many people would want the Grizzlies to do this immediately, anticipating all the invisible cap space on the way. Notice the word, “invisible,” though. Leroux highlights that the money would be a move that push them further away from the luxury tax, not necessarily open up that much in cap space. That makes a lot of sense given the contracts of Mike Conley ($32.5M), Jonas Valanciunas ($17.6M), Avery Bradley ($12.9M, could only cost them $2M if waived), Kyle Anderson ($9M), and C.J. Miles ($8.7M).

Whether they keep Parsons or not, they’ll be strapped for cash. In order to make stretching him impactful, a lot more moving parts have to take place. For one, Leroux mentions Valanciunas opting out of the final year of his deal. Secondly, they could move Bradley and Miles to teams looking to stretch them and open up some cap room. Or, they would have to take back significantly less salary in a Mike Conley deal, a possibility our site manager Joe Mullinax has expressed here at GBB.

Even if the Grizzlies stretched Parsons, and executed some variety of these moves, what would Memphis even do with the potential cap space?

For one, they aren’t getting a marquee free agent. Get that thought out of your mind before it even enters.

If the Grizzlies opened up some sort of cap space by stretching Parsons, I can only really see two things happening. They could put pressure on some teams and offer a big offer sheet. Some potential targets could be young guards like D’Angelo Russell, Malcolm Brogdon, and Terry Rozier. All of these teams are either trying to net bigger fish, or they have more important decisions to make. Nonetheless, any of these 3 guards would be huge for the Grizzlies’ rebuild. They could also take one more crack at Kelly Oubre Jr., someone that could be the wing scorer the Grizzlies have desperately needed for years.

The other route is taking on bigger contracts while acquiring an extra asset (a first-round pick, maybe?). The Grizzlies could dangle someone like Avery Bradley or C.J. Miles in such a deal, as both contracts are easier to get off the books. One trade I’d eye and love would taking on the final year of Allen Crabbe’s contract and this year’s Denver pick for Avery Bradley. They could also try to do such a deal for one of Miami’s bad contracts (Dion Waiters, James Johnson, or Kelly Olynyk), Nicolas Batum, or Norman Powell.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Detroit Pistons Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Is It Even Worth It?

To be completely honest, it’s not worth stretching Chandler Parsons this summer. The “restricted free agent” route sounds glamorous and all, but what happens if the other team matches the offer sheet? Congrats, you don’t get the player!

Adding an extra asset could pay off in the long run, but why stretch a bad contract — and keep his dead money on the books — to take on another bad contract? The Allen Crabbe type of move would be nice, since he’s an expiring deal. Any of the others would be abysmal.

Chandler Parsons did have a strong finish to the season, and it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he’s on the opening night roster. He’d be a nice veteran to have in the locker room. By keeping him, he gets the $24M, and they’re free from the contract. Stretching him means that he’s still owed the $24M and paid that over a 3-year span. $8M in dead money on the books is not a great idea, unless they have a surefire move in store — like landing a good restricted free agent.

Sorry, fantasy GMs, for getting yours hopes up, but they might as well finish the debt now rather than prolong it any further.

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