What Happened to Chandler Parsons?

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Second-round picks don’t usually pan out in the NBA unless your name is Manu Ginobili or Nikola Jokic. That’s why the likes of Chandler Parsons are an anomaly. He made huge strides, became an NBA starter, and got himself a nice contract. But after inking a massive $94 million contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, Parsons vanished as quickly as he appeared. What happened to Chandler Parsons?

Who is Chandler ParsonsWho is Chandler Parsons?

Most casual fans probably don’t know who Chandler Parsons is. But if you’re either a girl or a dyed-in-the-wool NBA follower, you couldn’t miss him. He is a decent shooter from deep, and his good looks most probably made him highly popular with female basketball buffs. Here is a synopsis of how his NBA career played out.

Overview of His NBA Career

Parsons played for the Florida Gators just after their golden days of Al Horford, Joakim Noah, and Corey Brewer. He was a rare four-year guy under Billy Donovan and graduated with a degree in telecommunications.

As you may have noticed in the NBA, teams are not so high on four-year guys. That’s why David Lee got drafted so late (30th overall), and Draymond Green and Kenneth Faried all slipped into the second round. Parsons, like Green and Faried, was drafted in the second round, 38th overall by the Houston Rockets. 

In a Rockets team devoid of true superstars, Parsons quickly got the lion’s share of minutes at small forward in his rookie year. The following season, Houston struck gold as James Harden’s trade destination, allowing Parsons to play off the gravity of The Beard. He played and started 76 games in 2012-13, averaging 15.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and a steal while shooting 49% from the floor and 39% from three on over five attempts.

At that time, Parsons established himself as one of the league’s better small forwards and shooters. He had size at 6-foot-8 and 230 pounds and had the best up and ball fakes in the business. Parsons’ statistical ascent continued the following year as Houston finished fourth in the West behind Harden and the newly-acquired Dwight Howard.

Because of what he brought to the table, Parsons attracted much attention as a restricted free agent in the 2014 offseason. He received a three-year, $46 million offer sheet from the Dallas Mavericks, which the Rockets declined to match. 

His two-season stint with Dallas was a mixed bag. While he still had the Swiss army knife capabilities, he suffered injury issues more than usual, causing him to miss over 20 games for the first time in 2015-16. He sat out the rest of that season to undergo surgery on a torn meniscus.

If that’s a portent of things to come, Memphis failed to see the sign. Parsons declined his player option for a final year with the Mavericks and entered unrestricted free agency. That’s a risky move considering he just had surgery and spent the offseason in rehab. But, needless to say, the Grizzlies took the bait and offered Parsons a max contract worth a whopping $94 million in four years!

To cut a long story short, Chandler Parsons only played 39% of the possible games over the next three years. He was traded to Atlanta in the final year of his contract and played only five games with the Hawks. In January 2020, Parsons announced his retirement from basketball.

What Happened to Chandler ParsonsWhat Happened to Chandler Parsons?

It’s one thing for a career to be mired by injuries, and it’s another to almost get killed. Unfortunately for Parsons, he suffered both! After myriads of knee injuries that plagued the second half of his career, Parsons was hit by a drunk driver and sustained career-ending accident-related injuries.

According to Shams Charania, Chandler Parsons’ accident allowed him to receive a substantial amount of money for his settlement lawsuit. Although the “substantial amount” was not disclosed, it would have been fair considering what the crash did to Parsons. His law firm announced that the former Florida Gator had many serious and irreversible injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, disc herniation, and torn labrum because of the accident.

Chandler Parsons' Life After the NBAChandler Parsons’ Life After the NBA

It would have sucked to hang up your sneakers the way he did, but Chandler Parsons’ NBA career wasn’t too bad in hindsight. He played nine years and was one of the best third options before injuries did him in. He had an automatic three-point shot (he once made 10 threes in a half) and can do a little bit of everything, from playmaking to defense and hustling all over the court.

Financially, Parsons earned $127 million in the NBA. He did modeling on the side, so that’s another one of his side hustles. 

But unsurprisingly, if you have wondered whatever happened to Chandler Parsons, he chose to remain close to the sport he loved the most. About a decade ago, he founded his travel-league squad, Southeast Elite. One of the team’s products is current Florida Gator Alex Fudge.

Parsons is also helping out with the Gator basketball program. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Parsons will pursue a career as an NBA executive, and as he disclosed, he has a media venture soon. 

Chandler Parsons’ Best NBA MomentsChandler Parsons’ Best NBA Moments

It’s not everyday that a former second-round pick secures himself a max contract that sets him up for life. If anything, Parsons should be a patron saint of four-year college students who have to work their way up the NBA ladder by doing whatever’s necessary to get the job done.

To salute Parsons’ NBA career, here are some Chandler Parsons highlights:

10 Three-Pointers in a Half

Parsons took advantage of all the defensive attention James Harden and Dwight Howard, setting an NBA record 10 3s in the first half. Ironically, he did it against the Grizzlies, the same team who offered him a max contract coming off knee surgery.


Mavs Highlights

In two seasons at the Big D, Parsons still had a semblance of his athleticism left. He can still sporadically put somebody on the poster, and as this video shows, even against someone like Tim Duncan.


Rare Memphis Highlight

His time with Memphis wasn’t all thorns; there are times when he played decently, not just to the standard of a guy who gets paid over $20 million a year. Parsons got hot off the bench against his former team, scoring 24 points and a win.


Wrapping Things Up: What Happened to Chandler Parsons?

Chandler Parsons had a pretty decent NBA career by any standard. Although he was slowed down by injuries by age 27, he showed that he could be a high-level scorer when healthy. He is a knockdown spot-up shooter from deep, can take the ball to the hole, and play make a little bit. 

But what happened to Chandler Parsons after proving himself a solid third or fourth option in a good team? Knee injuries– lots of them! Those knee troubles have gone so bad he couldn’t quite recover from them at age 27. Then, he experienced a potentially fatal car accident that forced him to retire. 

It’s not an ideal way to end your career, but Chandler Parsons has learned to accept them. Whatever happened to Chandler Parsons after the car crash? He is still around basketball at the grassroots level and helping out his alma mater’s college basketball program. We may see him take on an executive role someday, so that’s something to watch out for.

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

Check out our other articles to know about what happened to other interesting NBA players:

Hoops Addict
Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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