Franz Beard's Thoughts of the Day July 10

A few thoughts to jump start your Thursday morning.

BIG PAYDAY FOR Chandler Parsons

Chandler Parsons had a great day at the office Wednesday. reports that he agreed to sign an offer sheet for a three-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks that will pay him $45 million, which is very nice work if you can get it. Since he is a restricted free agent, the Houston Rockets have three days to match the offer. Either way, Chandler will make $15 million a year for the next three years, which isn’t bad for a second round draft pick who never averaged more than 12.4 points per game in his college career and who made only $980,000 last year playing for the Rockets.

The Rockets would be smart to match the offer, but they may have no choice but to let Chandler go if they come to terms with Chris Bosh, who has been offered a max contract of four years, $88 million. To create space, they’ve already unloaded Omer Asik and his $14 million salary to the New Orleans Pelicans and they’re offering point guard Jeremy Lin as trade bait for anyone willing to pick up his contract. Lin made $5 million last year and is slated to make $5 million next year, then $15 in 2016. Those moves might make enough room for Bosh but they may have to unload a couple more players to match the Dallas offer for Parsons.

The Rockets were probably caught off guard by the size of the Dallas offer. Expectations were that CP would get a four-year deal that would be worth $38-45 million but this deal blows the roof off notion. Dallas obviously sees the worth of a versatile 6-9 who often plays every position on the floor but center in the same game. Chandler averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game last year, one of only seven players in the league to put up those kind of numbers. The Mavericks have already added proven rebounder-defender Tyson Chandler and veteran point Raymond Felton to the roster to join Dirk Nowitzki and shooter deluxe Monta Ellis. Parsons will complete a rather formidable starting five for Dallas.

That he’s in a position to bring in that large a contract is a testament to staying in college four years. The Chandler Parsons who can command a $15 million salary is a far cry from the skinny, 6-9, 180-pounder who showed up at the University of Florida in July of 2007. Once he figured out that the only way to succeed was to conform to Billy Donovan’s system and coaching, he blossomed and became the SEC Player of the Year in 2011 even though he averaged only 11.3 points per game.

Parsons should be the poster child for every kid on the AAU circuit this month whose mind hasn’t been warped by the runners for agents and AAU coaches who are filling them up with the idea that they’re one-and-done. There are a handful of kids who are talented enough that they can and probably should make the jump to the NBA after one year. Most of them, however, should look to Chandler Parsons as the perfect example of what can happen if they don’t listen to all the leeches out there trying to convince them that they’re too good to stick around four years in college.


Mike Summers is Florida’s third offensive line coach in four years. While so much attention has been given to new coordinator Kurt Roper and his no-huddle scheme that is designed to rejuvenate the offense, it is Summers who probably holds the fate of the 2014 season – and perhaps Will Muschamp’s Florida coaching career – in his hands. There is no doubt the offense needs the juice that Roper brings, but it won’t be possible if Summers can’t get the line to perform better than it has the last three season (2011 under Frank Verducci; the last two under Tim Davis).

Here are the vital numbers of the last three years that reflect the effectiveness – or lack of – by the offensive line.

Yards per carry: 2011: 3.96; 2012: 4.53; 2013: 3.63

Sacks allowed: 2011: 23 (184 yards lost); 2012: 39 (283 yards lost); 2012: 27 (227 yards lost)

At a bare minimum the Gators need to average at least what they did in 2012 on the ground – 4.53 yards per carry – and the sack numbers need to be less than 25. Florida is the only team in the SEC in the last three years with two seasons where the average per carry was less than 4.0 yards. The Gators rank 11th in the SEC in sacks allowed (89) over the past three years.

Florida figures to be very strong up the middle this year with Max Garcia at center surrounded by Trenton Brown and Tyler Moore at the guards. Chaz Green (started three years) and D.J. Humphries (this will be his third year as a starter) are the tackles and while the experience they bring to the position bodes well, the fact that Green has never had an injury-free season and Humphries missed the last five last season with a knee is cause for concern. If either go down, the choice would be to move either Brown or Moore outside where neither one has ever shown the ability to handle speed off the edge or go with a young guy. While David Sharpe has prototypical size for an offensive tackle (6-6, 336) and showed great feet playing basketball at Jacksonville Providence, he is still a freshman playing on the outside where he will have to go against some of the top speed rushers in all of college football.

Analysis: What Summers did as Kentucky’s offensive line coach in 2010 gives hope that he will mold the Florida line into a formidable group. With only one returning starter and playing a bunch of young guys, the Wildcats averaged 4.56 per rush, scored 26 rushing touchdowns, averaged 6.1 yards per play and gave up only 19 sacks. He’s got better talent to work with this year than he had on that Kentucky team. If the Gators can avoid injuries to their starting five offensive linemen they will have a chance to vastly improve last year’s anemic numbers.


LeBron James and Miami Heat president Pat Riley met in Las Vegas Wednesday without coming to an agreement that would keep LeBron in Miami for at least a couple more years. Reports that LeBron is leaning toward a return to Cleveland have been fueled by the Cadavers trading Jarrett Jack to the Nets and Cody Zeller to the Boston Celtics in a three-team deal that clears up the cap room that will be necessary to bring back the prodigal son. There are also reports that Kevin Love would agree to be traded from Minnesota to Cleveland for a chance to play with LeBron and that the Cadavers are ready to sign LeBron’s buddies Ray Allen and Mike Miller. If LeBron stays in Miami it will largely be for sentimental reasons because if he stays, both Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade will also elect to stay. My guess is that LeBron heads home to Cleveland.


At a hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee Wednesday afternoon, it was revealed that 30 percent of Division I athletic departments conduct their own investigations into sexual assault allegations. Senator Claire McCaskill said she was “shocked” by the results of an investigation into how NCAA institutions handle sexual assault cases. She brought up the alleged rape of a Florida State University student by Heisman Trophy quarterback Jameis Winston, a case in which no charges were filed against Winston. The US Department of Education is doing a Title IX investigation of FSU to determine whether or not the university’s handling of the case violated the law. It is rather disturbing to find out that matters as sensitive and devastating as a sexual assault case are self-investigated particularly since a university has a vested interest in its athletes staying eligible.


“Why wasn’t this made public at the time? I think most of these universities would be embarrassed if they were publicly called out” – Senator Claire McCaskill holding up a long list of universities that voted to maintain the one-year scholarship for athletes when they could have gone to the four-year model.


ESPN Stats projected Florida to win 7.6 games and gives the Gators a 6.2% chance of winning the SEC. ESPN favors the Gators in seven games and rates them underdogs against Alabama, LSU, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida State ... As if losing to Germany, 7-1, in its Tuesday World Cup semifinal wasn’t bad enough, now the host Brazilians have to watch Sunday as Argentina plays for the championship against Germany. Having spent time in both countries, I can assure you that there isn’t a lot of love lost between their maniac soccer fans ... The San Antonio Spurs have reached a multi-year extension with head coach Greg Popovich. No matter what LeBron or Melo do, that will go down as the best offseason deal in the NBA ... Kentucky will pay $2 million in guarantees to non-conference opponents Tennessee-Martin, Louisiana-Monroe and Ohio University. The cost of winning goes up every single year ... Texas A&M now boasts the largest video board in all of college football – 47 feet tall and 163 feet wide ... LSU wide receiver Luke Boyd is an active duty Marine who did a tour in Afghanistan and got a promotion to staff sergeant last week.


Will the Houston Rockets pony up the cash to keep Chandler Parsons or will they let him move on to Dallas?


Andrew Mayer Cohen, better known as Mayer Hawthorne, is part of a blue-eyed soul music revival of the kind of songs that were popular in the 1970s. Hawthorne, who also performs as the rap artist Haircut, has released three albums, two which cracked the top 50 on the Billboard chart. This song is “The Walk” which was the best song on his 2011 album “How Do You Do.”

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