We know Parsons has a great offensive game, but what specifically allows him to succeed on that end?
He's the perfect off-ball player. He can cut to the rim, he can fade out to the three point line and hit at a good mark there, and he's excellent in transition. He has managed to become a serious weapon despite the fact that he still struggles to create his own shot.
Parsons is an excellent passer who fits into nearly every offense you can throw at him, excelling in the pick-and-roll, especially as the roll man, finding open cutters, and making his opponents pay when they go to sleep with cuts of his own. Playing alongside a dominant big in Dirk Nowitzki, he will do very well.
On the other hand, there are some questions about his defense. How is it?
When Parsons came in his rookie year, he made the team and eventually snuck into the lineup because of the combination of smart off-ball action and excellent defense. He used his 6'10" frame to guard wing players very effectively and was used as the team's defensive stopper. He hadn't yet really developed as a shooter so his defense was his calling card.
As his role grew on the offensive end, his defensive effort started to fade. He still has the skills to do it and Carlisle might be able to get through to him, but he has been a below-average defender for the last two seasons. Having him and Harden next to each other was a big factor in why the Rockets didn't perform up to their potential on the defensive end this season.
You've seen Parsons grow since he was drafted. What do you think his ceiling is?
I think he's an excellent third option but I remain skeptical that he will ever take the leap to the level of an All-Star player. If you watch his games, you seen an all-around offensive player who makes players around him better, but what has held him back and what I think will continue to hold him back is a lack of ability to create his own offense. He doesn't have a post game, he can't take players one-on-one off the dribble, and though he is a good shooter and passer, he's never going to be a player you give the ball to when you need a bucket.
Are there any nicknames we need to be aware of?
People in Houston called him Chandler Bang (a play off Chandler Bing from Friends), and CP25. My ex-girlfriend called him "the hot guy" if that helps.
Lastly, what is your take on Morey's decision to decline his team option and then not match when Dallas signed him?
I think it was the right move for the Rockets, as I think signing Parsons was probably the right move for the Mavericks. The two teams have vastly different circumstances, and while the Mavericks are looking for players to pair with Dirk in his last few years, the Rockets are chasing a title and it was clear that last year's team probably wasn't good enough to win one. If the Rockets matched that offer, they would be locking themselves into a core of Harden-Howard-Parsons, and I think that's a leap they weren't willing to take on a team that probably wouldn't be scaring anyone out West.
Now, they have some work to do to scramble and try and find another core player, but matching the offer sheet would have been accepting that they couldn't improve the personnel anymore, and I think that's a move that Morey would be worried to make.