The Dallas Mavericks’ front office was unanimous that a long-term commitment to Chandler Parsons would be a poor business decision due to his knee problems.
There also were locker room concerns with Parsons, though they were described as “forgivable, fixable things.” The primary concern was Parsons’ close relationship with Mark Cuban and that he possessed so much power in personnel matters.
Parsons and Cuban quickly became close after he signed a three-year, $46 million offer sheet. Parsons and Cuban would go out together occasionally both during the season and in the offseason.
“We’re boys. We’re friends,” Parsons tells ESPN. “Yeah, he was the owner of the team, but I didn’t look at him any differently [than other friends]. We did stuff. We enjoyed similar activities off the court. We were friends hanging out.”
Parsons became a go-to resource on personnel matters, proposing one move after another, some of which became reality. Parsons pitched Cuban on letting go of Monta Ellis, who clashed with Parsons and go all-in on recruiting DeAndre Jordan.
Parsons contends Cuban told him consistently after the 16-17 regular season that they would be able to agree upon a long-term deal.
“Throughout the whole process going into free agency, I always thought Dallas was going to be the place,” Parsons said. “I thought we had a mutual understanding that I was going to be there for the whole time and I was going to retire a Mav. Obviously, the second surgery gave him a little doubt, and I believe some people got in his head about it.”
Cuban simply shook his head when asked about that account.
Parsons and Cuban continued to discuss personnel moves, such as pursuing Hassan Whiteside and Harrison Barnes. Cuban later pushed hard for Parsons to opt in for the final season of his contract, which would have paid $6 million less than his max. Parsons could then sign a five-year deal with the cap even higher in the 2017 offseason, but that would have required him staying healthy for a whole season.
Parsons told ESPN he would have accepted a four-year deal for “a lot less” than the max of $98 million the Mavs could have given him.