Mavericks pushing on an offer sheet agreement with Houston restricted free agent Chandler Parsons, league sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 7, 2014
What does that mean, though? Let's go from the start.
Chandler Parsons is a restricted free agent, meaning any offer he receives from another team can be matched by the team with his rights. If the Mavericks offer Parsons, say, a four-year deal for $40 million, Houston can agree to those terms and Parsons has to return to the Rockets.
Although the Mavericks may be preparing the offer sheet right now, it won't become official until July 10, when the "business" portion of NBA free agency opens up league-wide. Whenever the offer sheet is officially filed to the NBA (since it's being prepared now, probably at 12:01 a.m. on July 10), the Rockets will have 72 hours to agree to whatever deal the Mavericks submit or to let Parsons go.
That's where this gets tricky. The Rockets have Bird Rights to Parsons, so they want to sign a big free agent (Carmelo, Bosh) and then add Parsons on top of that, over the cap. They don't have the cap space to give a max or near-max deal, and then keep Parsons as well. But if LeBron and Carmelo (who is apparently not interested in Houston anymore, for what it's worth) are still dragging their feet on July 12, the Mavericks will have forced the Rockets' hand. Either they must match the Mavericks' offer sheet to keep Parsons and lose the cap space to sign a big free agent, or they must let Parsons go in pursuit of Carmelo/LeBron/Bosh.
Either way, this is a great move for the Mavericks. If they get Parsons, they replace the shooting they lost when Calderon was traded and have a excellent small forward in their starting lineup. If they don't, they might cripple the Rockets' ability to get better -- important considering the two teams face each other four times a year.
Don't get too excited. All the cards are still being held by Houston. This Dallas offer sheet just might make judgment day come a little quicker than anticipated for Daryl Morey and the rest of the Rockets' front office.