7. Chandler Parsons — 4 Years, $94 Million
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Some look fine so far, and even the ones that appear questionable in hindsight (Drummond, Griffin) have time to turn out well.
That leniency doesn’t apply to Chandler Parsons’ four-year, $94 million deal with the Memphis Grizzlies.
It was signed in 2016, and Memphis is already assured of at least one of the four seasons being a total bust. Parsons, limited by multiple knee surgeries before joining the Grizzlies, logged just 34 games in his debut season and rated as one of the league’s worst players when on the floor.
He averaged just 6.2 points in 19.9 minutes with a true shooting percentage of 43.6—all career worsts by a significant margin. His PER of 7.7 was the fourth-worst in the league among players who started at least 30 games.
At this point, even if Parsons returns to his absolute peak (which we’ll call something like 16 points, five rebounds and four assists with passable defense) the deal for Memphis would still turn out to be a bad one.
But with so many surgeries, and after seeing how athletically diminished Parsons was in his truncated 2016-17 campaign, it’s impossible to imagine him regaining anything close to his previous top form.
Worse still, Memphis is also locked into max contracts with both Gasol and Conley. Those contracts are off to great starts, but the real burden of Parsons’ deal lies in the way it prevents the Grizzlies from adding wing talent around its two best players.
The Grizzlies, lacking a team option, are stuck for three more years, or until a buyout relieves them of the worst max deal signed in the last few seasons.