Memphis Grizzlies: Chandler Parsons Will Play Important Role Down The Stretch

Jan 20, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons reacts to a play during the second half against the Sacramento Kings at FedExForum. Memphis defeated Sacramento 107-91. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies have yet to receive much from Chandler Parsons, but he will play an important role for the team down the stretch of the season.

The Memphis Grizzlies made some big changes this offseason. Head coach Dave Joerger left the team to coach the Sacramento Kings. In his place, the Grizzlies hired David Fizdale away from the Miami Heat.

Along with the coaching change, the Grizzlies made big changes to their lineup as well.

The Grizzlies spent a ton of money in free agency to make it happen. They were able to retain point guard Mike Conley with the biggest contract in NBA history. Conley signed a maximum five-year, $152,605,576 million deal.

He was only the first player to receive a max contract from Memphis, as they dipped back into the free agent pool to snag Chandler Parsons away from the Dallas Mavericks.

Parsons signed a max four-year, $94,438,523 million deal with the Grizzlies in free agency. Memphis hoped that Parsons would give them some stability on the wing, something they have lacked since Rudy Gay was playing small forward.

But the Grizzlies have yet to receive much of a return on their investment.

Parsons suffered a meniscus injury last March and was forced to undergo surgery, ending his season. That surgery didn’t hurt Parsons in free agency, but it has made him ineffective on the court.

Parsons missed the first six games of the regular season because of the knee. He played in six games before being sidelined again. With the knee injury lingering and the Grizzlies giving him rest days as a precaution, Parsons has played in only 25 games this season.

In those 25 games, Parsons has been ineffective. Parsons is putting up the worst numbers of his career thus far this season with the Grizzlies. His limited playing time, as he averages only 19.2 minutes per game, is a reason why. But, for the most part, Parsons just hasn’t been any good yet.

He is shooting only 34.7 percent from the field and 27.5 percent from deep. He is scoring only 6.6 points per game to go along with 2.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists.

Despite the poor raw statistics, there is reason to believe that Parsons will help the team and play an important role down the stretch for the Grizzlies.

For starters, Parsons is a great fit for the direction has headed in under Fizdale. The culture has remained the same in Memphis, as they still ride with the Grit and Grind moniker. But, their style of play has changed.

Under Joerger, the Grizzlies were very defensive minded and didn’t threaten teams much offensively, especially from the perimeter. In his three seasons as head coach, the Grizzlies never ranked above the bottom four in the NBA in three-pointers made.

Under Fizdale, the Grizzlies have moved to the middle of the pack in three-point shooting without sacrificing anything defensively. It was the type of style that Parsons would fit into perfectly.

He is a solid defender with the ability to play multiple positions and he can stretch the floor; he was a 38 percent three-point shooter coming into this season.

On the court, the Grizzlies have also played well with Parsons. Despite being rusty and still rounding into form, Parsons actually has a positive net rating this season according to He has an offensive rating of 105.5 and a defensive rating of 104.5.

Without Parsons, the Grizzlies have an offensive rating of 104.1 and a defensive rating of 102.0.

Parsons still has a little ways to go before he returns to form, but his skill set will fit in well with the Grizzlies. He is a capable play maker and will chip in all across the stat sheet.

A team as good as the Grizzlies usually does not add an impact player late in the season. If they are fortunate enough to do so, they usually have to surrender a lot of assets and chemistry.

This time around Memphis will be adding an impact player without losing anything once Parsons is fully ready to go and able to play a full complement of minutes.

Parsons will play an important role down the stretch of the season and could push the Grizzlies to the next level. Once he is healthy, he will provide a boost to a Grizzlies team that is already succeeding with a 33-22 record.

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