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Chandler Parsons Explains Why He Didn’t Sign with the Trail Blazers

An NBA player gives a rare peek behind the scenes.

Memphis Grizzlies v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Back in the Summer of 2016, multi-skilled forward Chandler Parsons was a prime target for the Portland Trail Blazers in free agency. Newly flush with long-awaited cap space, the Blazers had their eye on the 6’9 wing, figuring his length and versatility would help bolster a frontline designed to protect and augment star guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

In a bizarre turn of events, Parsons pivoted away from the Blazers, signing a contract with the Memphis Grizzlies even though most reports had him Portland-bound.

Today Memphis sports columnist and radio personality John Martin posted a video on Twitter wherein Parsons explained exactly what happened during that fateful span. His explanation will be of interest to Blazers fans.

Here’s the text of Parson’s statement:

We’re in the Memphis meeting and I see like where Stack’s sitting, Fegan’s getting red and like kinda getting weird and then like five minutes later he asks, “Hey, let’s take a break. We’ll meet back up at five.”

He’s like, “CP, come here. You’re going to Memphis. Portland is gonna give you a physical and because of Greg Oden and Brandon Roy’s injury history, you might not pass. If you do that and they red flag you, bro, you’re taking a minimum deal and you’re smoked out of $95 million.

I go back in there, bro, and I Oscar performance going back in. Oscar! I go back in there, “Listen, guys, I’ve never...I’ve never been more sure of something in my life. Grit and Grind to the day I die. I’m like, ‘I’m in!’ Imma get that [expletive] tatted.” I was like, “We can stop it here. I’m signing.”

Parsons would go on to play three seasons with the Grizzlies before being traded to the Atlanta Hawks in the Summer of 2019. He played only 95 games for Memphis during that span, averaging 7.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 19.6 minutes per game, shooting 39.3% from the floor. He played 5 games in Atlanta subsequently before being waived in February, 2020. Parsons made an average of $23.6 million per year during the final four years of his contract.