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Chandler Parsons’ lingering knee injury shines more light on the Mavericks’ decision

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Parsons was supposed to be ready to go in the playoffs last year, now he might miss the start of the regular season for Memphis.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies-Media Day Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Fears about Chandler Parsons’ twice surgically repaired knee led to the Mavericks not even offering him a contract this summer, with the forward bolting to the Memphis Grizzlies instead.

It has been months since Parsons had a season-ending knee surgery to repair a damaged meniscus, his second season-ending right knee surgery in two years. Parsons was expected to return to full health in time for Grizzlies training camp — in fact, much sooner — but now it looks as if Parsons might not be ready to suit up on opening night.

Here’s a quick timeline of that injury.

March 18

Parsons complains of a sore lower hamstring after a 130-112 loss to the Golden State Warriors.

March 21

An MRI reveals the hamstring tenderness is due to a torn meniscus, which is expected to end his season. However, there are several ways to repair the meniscus, one of the more common injuries in the NBA. Ron Artest famously returned from meniscus surgery after just 12 days.

March 25

Parson undergoes arthroscopic knee surgery on the meniscus.

March 30

Cuban says Parsons could be healthy by the second round of the playoffs.

September 21

Nearly five months after surgery, Parsons participates in limited court activity and says that he has been “building up that strength (in his knee) and growing more comfortable with it.” He entered camp with the Grizzlies with “some limitations” but it was expected that he would be cleared by the season opener.

October 11

Parson sits out preseason game against Philadelphia. Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale says that he gets daily reports on Parsons knee, but does not feel comfortable committing to a timetable for Parsons debut.

October 15

Parsons is inactive for a preseason game against Houston. At this point, his status for the season opener and even games beyond that is in doubt.


Parsons has been fighting this injury for close to seven months, and Fizdale’s quotes don’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence that the Grizzlies’ new star forward will be returning anytime soon.

In some capacity this probably feels like validation for Cuban and his refusal to offer Parsons a max contract. Parsons is entering his second straight season coming off of a major knee injury and his style of play is heavily impacted by his lack of explosiveness. The lingering concerns of this surgery, one that was supposed to have Parsons completely cleared and ready for the start of training camp, could indicate complications or something that the Mavericks simply weren’t really to risk this summer.

Of course, taking away the history, a key player on a division rival possibly missing playing time in the regular season could help the Mavericks make the playoffs at the end of the season, too.