Every year teams are looking to find hidden gems in the second round of the NBA Draft. Some teams (infrequently) stumble upon stars that fell through the cracks like Gilbert Arenas and Monta Ellis, while others are happy to find great role players like Carl Landry or Daniel Gibson. Well, for any team drafting in the second round, Chandler Parsons will be a solid role player for years to come in this league.
For many players fresh out of college, they are used to being the star of the team. They are used to taking all the big shots and getting all the attention and adjusting to life in the NBA as a role player may be difficult, but the transition likely won’t be hard for Parsons. While he won SEC Player of the Year this past season, Parsons won the award not because he scored the most points (he was the fourth leading scorer on his Florida team this past season behind Kenny Boynton, Erving Walker and Vernon Macklin), but because of the immense impact he was able to have in all areas of the game. Parsons grabbed almost eight rebounds per game, and dished out almost four assists (both leading the team). He never dominated games, but his impact could be felt at all times on both ends of the floor. He provided a calming influence for the Gators and his teammates have praised him for being the ultimate teammate. At times Billy Donovan and his teammates had to ask him to be more selfish and defer less, when it is usually the opposite for guys at that level.
I saw Parsons work out for the Nets last week against Kyle Singler, and any doubts I had about his ability to play in the NBA were quelled following that workout. Parsons played great, knocking down open shots and being aggressive on offense. What impressed me most however was Parsons’ leadership during the three-on-three portion of the workout. He was constantly talking on defense, and making sure his teammates were in the right position on the floor. It was by far the most vocal I had seen any player be in one of these workouts. Additionally, afterwards Parsons put up shots for another half hour, first with one of the Nets’ assistant coaches then with one of their summer interns. His work ethic and leadership abilities really came across well.
So while some teams may be wary of Parsons’ lack of elite athleticism, that shouldn’t prevent them from drafting him. In the NBA he will be a solid role player who plays his part and will never try to do too much or play outside of his abilities, and he will be a great influence in any locker room. With a second-round pick, there is not much more you can ask for.
What do you think? Where will Parsons get drafted? Would you want him on your team?
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