RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Chandler ParsonsPosted by rtmsf on May 21st, 2011
Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.
Player Name: Chandler Parsons
Height/Weight: 6’10, 215 lbs.
Projected Draft Range: Very late first round/Early second round
Overview: Parsons is probably most famous for a couple of buzzer beaters he hit within a 20-day stretch in January 2010. The first was a 70-foot bomb at North Carolina State on January 3 to win by a point, and he followed up that with a more conventional three pointer as the buzzer sounded on January 23 to beat South Carolina. He’s been a fixture on the floor for the Gators since the day they signed him, playing in all but one game over his four years and never averaging less than 21 minutes a contest (his freshman year). His minutes went steadily up each season, topping out this past season at 34.1 MPG; even though his scoring went down this year from 12.4 PPG in 2009-10 to 11.3 PPG in his senior year as he let teammates Erving Walker, Kenny Boynton, and Vernon Macklin handle most of the scoring load (he took a third FEWER shots this year than he did as a junior); his numbers improved in the areas of 3FG%, rebounds (7.8, leading the team), assists (3.8, also leading the team), and steals (from 1.1 to 3.8!). He didn’t lead the SEC in a single statistical category, yet, despite his point production going down, he was named the conference’s player of the year because of the improvement in the rest of his game.
Will Translate to the NBA: Parsons doesn’t have the quickest first step, yet he’s good at driving into the lane and getting himself into a good position for a shot. And if he chooses not to shoot, he’s an exceptional interior passer. He’s also one of those guys who “earns” his rebounds, meaning he understands the value of position and timing when hitting the glass at both ends, and this makes up for his average hops. He’ll be asked to be more of a threat from the outside in the NBA, and Parsons has considerable range when he’s able to get his feet set, not to mention good height on his release. Finally, one of the things we’ve enjoyed most as we’ve watched Parsons over the last four years is how he moves without the ball. If you’re defending him, he’ll always keep you moving. If he can use that skill to get open, get set, and be effective from the perimeter, he’ll find a spot in the league.
Needs Work: On his best days, Parsons was an average defender at the college level. In the NBA, he’ll be guarding small forwards and shooting guards, so some enhanced foot speed would help him stay in front of the quicker pros he’s about to see. He’s not a terribly physical player, and he’ll have to be able to take contact (as well as give it) and shake it off to get sustained NBA minutes. If he does get used to the more phyiscal nature of the pro game and he finds himself at the free throw line, he needs to be more reliable there; his FT% took an 11-point hit in his senior year, bottoming out at 55.6%, his lowest percentage in four years as a Gator.
Comparison Players: It might be because of his two game-winning shots last season, but we keep thinking of Robert Horry here. There is more to their similarities than that because of their all-court games and their tendency to disappear at times. They also share a streaky outside game. Another comparable player of more recent vintage is Tayshaun Prince, who is more similar to Parsons in that his game is more perimeter-oriented than Robert Horry’s was, especially early in Horry’s career. One area that Parsons falls short of these guys is his defense, which is an area that he needs to work on to be successful in the NBA.
Best Case Scenario: He has a good enough all-around game to where he won’t have to become a true long-range specialist, but Parsons will shine brightest at the next level if he sharpens up that outside shot and becomes one of those guys who makes opposing fans and players groan when they see him receive the ball open on the perimeter. If he adds a little quickness on the defensive side, that will help justify keeping him on the floor. He has a good head for the game and he’ll have to use it to get open for those mid-range jumpers and plays in the lane. A reliable NBA-range perimeter game would earn him a starting spot on some teams.
2014 Projection: Starting out, Parsons will see a lot of time on the bench, and almost certainly some time in the D-League. Assuming he makes the above refinements to his game, after three seasons of paying his dues, Parsons should have no trouble staying on an NBA roster for a full season and playing regularly.
Best NBA Fit: Parsons has the type of game where he could fit in and be successful on a team like Miami where he could do the little things to help the team win, and possibly be a sixth man off the bench. He doesn’t need to have many plays run specifically through him, but when he does get a touch he can make things happen. In reality, Parsons is the type of player who could blend into many different types of situations. The only thing that might be an issue is if he gets selected by a team with a glut of small forwards as he doesn’t do any one particular thing that stands out, but he does a lot of things well.
Scout’s Take (Chris Denker from Netscouts Basketball): “size and skill galore… one of the best combinations there is in this draft… still improving… came from a virtual unknown status to a real sleeper in this draft.”