Parsons ended up signing a four-year, $94.8 million max contract with the Memphis Grizzlies this summer after the Mavericks didn’t even offer him a contract. Mark Cuban pushed Parsons to opt into the final year of his 3-year, $46 million deal he signed with Dallas in 2014, but did so unsuccessfully. After that, Parsons was reportedly iced out by Cuban and the Mavericks.
How much you believe Parsons is up to you. After all, he repeatedly said he believed he was a max player leading up to free agency, and was offered it by at least two teams before choosing Memphis. It’s reasonable for me to think that Parsons may have taken a slight hometown discount — his original contract was slightly under the max, and Parsons had a fantastic relationship with Cuban that is detailed in the ESPN story. But something under $90 million? Eh.
Still, it’s interesting that Parsons would at least say that he would take less. By all accounts, the Mavericks never truly tried to negotiate with him after he opted out of the final year of his contract, and perhaps a more committed effort could have helped them meet in the middle of the number they wanted, and the max contract Parsons was gunning for. Or perhaps — and this is just as likely — Cuban knew right away he wouldn’t be able to sway Parsons for anything less than the max, and just gave up on the idea right then and there.
The story also says that Parsons pushed for the Mavericks to sign Harrison Barnes in unison with him this summer. We wrote about the pros and cons of those two playing together on the same team today.
Parsons makes his return with the Grizzlies to Dallas tonight at the American Airlines Center.